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Friday, March 25, 2011

Taking Back the Night

Tonight the National Organization of Women (NOW), organized a "Take Back the Night" march at the University of Central Florida. They worked with the Student Government Association, the Multicultural Student Center, and other campus organizations and were successful in bringing out a couple hundred students to the event.

Marches to "Take Back the Night" have been held for many years in many cities throughout the world to call attention to the high rates of violence against women. Feminists in the 1960s began to hold these marches composed entirely of women at night to protest the fact that women could not feel safe walking the streets at night. By coming together, shouting, and chanting without men to protect them, these women were able to symbolically  reclaim space. The Take Back the Night events provided platforms for women to denounce  the high incidence of rape in our country while also empowering themselves through testimony and the dissemination of information.

I attended my first "Take Back the Night" march when I was a college student. I am fortunate that because I am now a professor I have students who continue to organize such events and who invite me to participate.

I read a few of my poems at the event. Here is the poem, "Rape: A State of Emergency"





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