Loyola hosts annual Take Back the Night march

Cody Downey

Sponsored by Loyola, Tulane, Dillard, Xavier, University of New Orleans and University of Holy Cross, the annual Take Back the Night event will begin at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday night in Loyola’s Horseshoe with a lighting of candles, and then head to Tulane’s LBC Qatar Ballroom, where participants can share stories and support at an open mic.

Patricia Boyett, director of the Women’s Resource Center and co-chair for Take Back the Night, says the event is one the most important events for both Loyola and the city of New Orleans.

“It calls on the community to stand publicly in support of survivors [of sexual abuse],” Boyett said.

Erin Shapiro, staff counselor, is responsible for organizing the event and communicating with the other universities involved. Shapiro says the event is especially important due to the severity of gender violence on campuses.

“It’s important for us to raise awareness about this and for survivors of violence to feel supported,” she said.

In addition to an open mic, the event will feature a keynote speaker from Dillard University and a performance by the Genesis Gospel Choir.

“I hope that Take Back the Night both highlights this serious problem in our society, but also helps those affected by it to feel heard, supported and cared for in our community,” Shapiro said.

Noelie Zeichik, psychology sophomore and member of the Women’s Resource Center, was most moved by the open mic at last year’s event.

“I was moved to tears by the stories of my friends and fellow students who were brave enough to share,” Zeichik said.