Photo by Trey Clark, University of Memphis


Redefining Masculinity: Men as Allies in the Fight against Gender Violence, by Chelsea Tait Lucas

2019 Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Draws 280

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.

2018 Walk A Mile – 260 Hit the Streets at U of M

A boisterous line of 237 students and community leaders bearing signs and chanting drew honks and cheers of support last week as they marched along Central, Highland and Poplar in the 8th Memphis Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.
Many men wore women’s shoes – high ones, low ones, red, gold, aqua or black.

Fathers brought sons. Mothers brought daughters. Professors, lawyers, police officers, business owners, social workers, college and high school students marched in the demonstration against rape, sexual assault and gender violence.

The 2018 march stepped off from the Ramesses II statue at the University of Memphis after a rally attend by about 260. It was organized by the Memphis Area Women’s Council, Memphis Says NO MORE, the Memphis Sexual Assault Kit Task Force and Splash Creative in partnership with the UofM Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Coalition, Student Government Association and Title IX Prevention Center.

Women’s Council executive director Deborah Clubb welcomed and thanked the throng. Nikkino Wesson and Courtney Paige Harrough from SAPAC described the importance of supporting survivors of gender violence and the workunderway on campus.

Kenneth Anderson, UofM director of institutional equity, Antonio Scott from SGA, City Councilmember Worth Morgan and Bridges teen leaders Mohamed Abdo and Devin Dearborn rallied the walkers before leading the way west on Central.

photography by Haley Graham

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