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 violence.
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 or of violence in their home, and for some, walking the path of healing following an assault.
Wearing women’s shoes at this event is an opportunity for men to think critically about the path that women walk each day: in women’s constant vigilance about the potential of being assaulted when they’re on the street or in a dark parking lot … or, for some, in their own homes. This is an event intended to raise awareness about the issues of gender 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 global 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 encourage others around you 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 wherever they choose to be. The agency will not stop until women are safe in all aspects of their lives. The men who participated 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.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes 2018
In 2018, we held our eighth annual event for the first time at Offutt Field in downtown Greensburg. We had beautiful weather as we welcomed over 1,100 walkers to the stadium to #WalkBlackburn. Our Fearless Advocacy for Men's Engagement (FAME) group hosted an education tent, where they raised awareness about how gender norms hurt boys and men, and how they lead to gender-based violence. This year, the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg had the biggest team, with over 140 participants. Scalise Realty raised the most money, above and beyond team registration.
To view a list of our 2018 sponsors, click here.
To view pictures of our 2018 event, click here.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes 2017
In 2017, despite cold, rainy weather, over 1,100 walkers (plus at least a dozen dogs and a pet skunk in a stroller) joined us on April 22, 2017 at St. Clair Park in Greensburg to #WalkBlackburn. While we didn't have great weather, we did have an amazing turnout of men, women and children who read our new pledge to prevent gender-based violence and learn more about our Fearless Advocacy for Men's Engagement (FAME) group. This year, General Carbide Corporation had the biggest team, with 79 participants, and Garden City United Methodist Church raised the most money, above and beyond team registration.
To download a list of our 2017 sponsors, click here.
To view pictures of our 2017 event, click here.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes 2016
In 2016, we had our biggest turn-out ever! 1,138 walkers joined us on April 16, 2016 at St. Clair Park in Greensburg to #WalkBlackburn. The weather was perfect, and the park was hopping! We added a new feature this year: a Men as Allies tent, where men could spin a prize wheel, take the pledge to prevent gender violence and sign up to join our new Men as Allies group. Before the walk, all participants read aloud the pledge, making a personal committment to take action in their own lives to prevent gender violence.
To download a list of our 2016 sponsors, click here.
To view pictures of our 2016 event, click here.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes 2015
On April 18, 2015, our fifth annual walk brought 1,100 walkers to downtown Greensburg to raise awareness about gender violence. The weather was sunny and warm, as our staff, volunteers and walkers took over St. Clair Park, and then marched down Maple Avenue. This year, we added a new element to our pre-walk programming, as each of our ten speakers read a point from the pledge to prevent gender violence and made a personal committment to put that point into action in their own lives.
To download a list of our 2015 sponsors, click here.
To view pictures of our 2015 event, click here.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes 2014
On April 12, 2014, Blackburn Center hosted our fourth annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® event. Over 900 walkers strolled down Maple Avenue starting at St. Clair Park in downtown Greensburg in gorgeous, sunny weather -- literally stopping traffic (with help from the Greensburg Police!). The fence at St. Clair Park was decorated with amazing original art by students at Greensburg Salem Middle and High Schools. Walkers carried signs, wore high heels, and signed the pledge to prevent gender violence.
To download a list of our 2014 sponsors, click here.
To view pictures of our 2014 event, click here.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes 2013
Our third annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® event took place on Saturday, April 20, 2013 at Greensburg’s Lynch Field. In spite of the winter-like weather, more than 650 participants gathered that morning to speak out against the social norms that perpetuate domestic and sexual violence.
Blackburn Center added an important element to this year’s event: an opportunity for men who attended to not only walk the walk, but also to talk the talk by signing a pledge. This ten point pledge states a commitment to take important steps in preventing domestic and sexual violence.
To download a list of our 2013 sponsors, click here.
To view pictures of our 2013 event, click here.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes 2012
Our second annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® event took place on Saturday, April 21, 2012 at Greensburg’s Lynch Field. More than 450 walkers gathered that morning to raise awareness and speak out against gender violence.
To download a list of our 2012 sponsors, click here.
To view pictures of our 2012 event, click here.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes 2011
Our very first Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® — the one that started it all — took place at a snowy Lynch Field in Greensburg on April 2, 2011. Despite the weather, we had a great turnout, with more than 300 walkers joining together to raise their voices against the social norms that perpetuate domestic and sexual violence.
To view pictures of our 2011 event, click here.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® Licensed by Frank Baird & Walk a Mile in Her Shoes®, a Venture Humanity, Inc. Project
Featuring the 2013 event (video made possible by the Pittsburgh Foundation