The Paw Print
This Saturday, over a hundred participants turned up at Cole Park to participate in an event called Walk a Mile in her Shoes, which is a 5k run, as well as a March through Alamosa. Originally, the event started out as a march, and over the past few years it has expanded to include the 5k as well.
As well as the run and march, there were also games included for younger kids, and dogs were welcome to participate as well. ASC Grizzlyland Dixieland Band and Boy Scout Troop 307 also participated, which added to the festivities.
“Walk a Mile in her Shoes” is an event created by Tu Casa to help raise awareness to stop rape, sexual assault, and gender violence.
“This is an event that gives a playful opportunity for men to raise awareness in their community about the serious causes, effects and remediation of sexualized violence,” Angela Sillas-Green, a Tu Casa representative.
“Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” however, is not a common march or run. Since the event is primarily aimed towards men, those participating are asked to literally walk one mile in women’s high-heeled shoes.
“It’s not easy walking in these shoes,” Angela admits. “It’s fun, though, and it gets the community to talk about something that’s really difficult to talk about: gender relations and sexual violence.”
April is also Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and it is Tu Casa’s way of bringing awareness to the community about this issue. This year’s primary focus was on healthy sexuality.
A staff member named Terri started this event in 2008 to show that there are men that do not support sexual violence and that there are “good men out there”, says Sillas-Green.
Though the 5k run cost $20 to participate in, Tu Casa Executive Director Ashley Riley Lopes says that the event is designed as an awareness-raising tool, not a fundraiser.
“Registration fees charged cover the costs of putting on the 5k and providing T-shirts,” Ashley explains.
Last year, there were 60 participants, and Tu Casa was very pleased that they passed their goal of 80 participants this year. Overall, the march and run was very successful, and everyone involved is pleased.
“I think it was a great success,” Angela said. “It is a great interest of ours to get male youth involved. I just appreciate all the people that came out to support sexual violence prevention. I appreciate all my ASC volunteers, Rose Martinez, Mirella Gonzales, and Cristina Mace. They were a big help with getting on the prizes for the event.”
Ashley explains that the best part of the event was the way the community came together to support an important cause.
“It was great to see the great community support our runners and marchers showed by taking time out of their weekend to show their support for victims and survivors of sexual assault,” Ashley said. “What a fabulous image of men, women, children, and animals, all walking together in honor of April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month! Everyone is needed in order to end this type of victimization from occurring, and this event is really geared at giving men a fun way to actively participate.”
Tu Casa is also very thankful for the support from the following donors: ASC bookstore, Ken Marquez of ASC Student Affairs, Gregg Elliott from ASC Counseling, Gibson’s Station in La Jara, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Chili’s, La Puente Rainbow’s End, and the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad. Without their help, this event would not have been possible.