Some guys borrowed high heels, some brought their own, and some shoes were destroyed in the process as the ninth Memphis Walk a Mile in Her Shoes once again gave local men a chance to rally against domestic violence and rape.
Football players, fraternity members, community leaders and others from two universities and across the city joined women in the Walk that launched from the University of Memphis Ramesses II statue plaza on Sept. 25.
At the rally, UofM student leaders Antonio Scott, president of Student Government Association, and Alex Tate, executive director of SAPAC (Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center) urged students to help make the university a place free of sexual assault.
Kenneth Anderson, the university’s Title IX coordinator, thanked students for joining the Walk and reminded all to look out for one another in settings when risky behavior could arise.
Two longtime Walkers – Kevin Reed, a Shelby County judicial commissioner, and Memphis’s Chief Operating Officer Doug McGowen – told the crowd that it is men who can and must stop the violence by helping their friends and family members stop. “Not just today,” McGowen said, “but for another 364 days.”
Organized by the Memphis Area Women’s Council, Memphis Says NO MORE, University of Memphis Title IX Prevention Center and SAPAC, the Walk also was supported by September of Service volunteers from Christian Brothers University who joined UofM student leaders in assisting Walkers with registration, t-shirts, signs and women’s shoes.
The UofM women’s basketball team and Memphis Police Department command staff joined the throng that roamed west to Highland, north to Poplar, east to DeLoach and back down Central to return to the Ramesses plaza.