Are you ready? It’s that time of year again! Time to break out your favorite high heels (or sneakers! Or roller skates! Or anything else that gets you in the mood to walk), get out your markers and poster board, and walk a mile in her shoes! Our 2018 Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event will take place on April 21, 2018 and for the very first time will be at Offutt Field in Greensburg — register here!
Since 2010, Blackburn Center has hosted its signature event, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes®. This walk is Westmoreland County’s march to stop rape, sexual assault and all forms of gender-based violence. Over the years, our walk has grown from 300 walkers to over 900 in 2014 and over 1,000 walkers in 2017. We’ve had plenty of local luminaries join us for our walks, including county commissioners, along with teams from area colleges, universities and high schools. For this year’s walk, we are hoping to hit a new record of 1,500 participants! Read more about our prior events here — and see pictures here!
Each year, our walk is held in April — first at Lynch Field, then at St. Clair Park and now at Offutt Field in Greensburg. Our event keeps growing and expanding — thanks to your amazing dedication and desire to raise awareness for this incredible cause!
Of course, because it’s Western Pennsylvania, the weather is a bit unpredictable — we have walked in the rain, snow, and wind.…and on perfect 60 degree days! Here’s to a bright, sunshine-filled day this April!
No matter what the forecast may be, we know that our event will be bursting with the spirit of community, just
as it has been for the past 7 years. We are truly amazed at the amount of support that our walk receives each year — from walkers to volunteers to donors, we are grateful for everyone who comes together to make this a fantastic event!
Each year, the walk includes men, women, children and even babies in strollers. Many of our male participants opt to wear high heels, taking an extra step in understanding what women experience every day: walking in high heel shoes is symbolic of the difficulties and challenges women face every day—being on guard against the possibility of a sexual assault, experiencing sexual harassment, dealing with the aftermath of violence in their home, and for some, walking the path of healing following an assault. This is an event intended to raise awareness about the issues of gender-based violence.
This is not intended to mock women who wear high heels, or to glorify masculinity. It isn’t meant as a statement that only women can or should wear high heels — to the contrary, we strongly affirm the right of all people to NOT conform to gender stereotypes. It also isn’t meant to imply that only women can be victims of sexual or domestic violence — because these issues can affect anyone regardless of gender, race, sexuality, religion, or economic status. We do this walk to raise awareness about these local issues, and to help ALL victims of domestic and sexual violence. We encourage everyone who participates in our walk to wear the shoes in the spirit we intend, and to be supportive of all in our community.
Blackburn Center’s mission cannot and will not end until women are safe in their own homes, safe in parking lots alone at night, safe at parties and bars, safe in their workplace, safe wherever they choose to be. The agency will not stop until women are safe in all aspects of their lives. The men who participate in Walk a Mile in Her Shoes share this vision. The agency applauds them as Blackburn Center’s courageous partners in working to make this world a safer place.
If you would like to get involved in Walk a Mile in Her Shoes 2018, click here to register today. You can register as
an individual, or gather some friends and family to walk as a team. You can also join Blackburn Center in its mission to end all forms of gender-based violence by volunteering, donating, or joining our men’s group, Fearless Advocates for Men’s Engagement (FAME). We can’t wait to see you there!