News from MacMurray College
MacMurray students Take Back the Night
Annual observance to bring awareness of and to stop violence.
MacMurray College will host its 12th-annual “Take Back the Night” observance 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 29 at the McClelland Dining Hall on the MacMurray campus. The event is designed to recognize and bring awareness to domestic and other sorts of violence in our culture. The observance is free and open to the public, and will be interpreted for the hearing impaired.
The keynote speaker for the event is Dr. Kindra Steenerson, assistant professor of Theatre and Gender and Women’s Studies at Illinois College. The theme this year is “Domestic Violence Can Happen to Anyone.”
Representatives of the Crisis Center Foundation will light candles to acknowledge victims of child abuse in Illinois, and a candlelight walk will end the evening. MacMurray Chaplain Kate Herring will offer prayers to begin and end the event.
A significant part of the event is the audience's participation. Audience members are invited to give personal accounts of abuse they have experienced or witnessed; they may also share their ideas about ending violence. Counselors from the Crisis Center Foundation will be present.
Students, faculty members, and staff have created dozens of T-shirts, many personal tributes to people who have experienced sexual assault, domestic violence, or child abuse. The T-shirts are on display in McClelland Dining Hall now and throughout the week of the rally. MacMurray’s T-Shirt Project has three goals:
- To bear witness to the survivors and to remember those who have died as a result of domestic violence, sexual assault, racism and homophobia.
- To help with the healing process for those who have directly and personally been affected by such violence.
- To educate, document, and raise society’s awareness of the extent of the problem of violence against children, women, and men.
MacMurray’s Take Back the Night acknowledges the prevalence of many forms of violence in our culture, including domestic violence, rape, racism, child abuse, elder abuse and violence against gays and lesbians.
The first Take Back the Night Rally took place in Philadelphia in 1975 as a response to the murder of Susan Alexander Speeth, a young microbiologist who was stabbed while walking home at night. In reaction to the murder, police warned women to stay indoors at night.
But a group of activists banded together. They refused to accept limitations on women’s lives and mobility as solutions to violence. Instead, they organized a candlelight march to take back the night and to call for an end to violence in American culture.
Now, hundreds of venues around the world, many on college and university campuses, host annual Take Back the Night rallies. Dr. Jeannie Zeck, Associate Professor in the English and Theatre Program at MacMurray and coordinator of the event, brought Take Back the Night to MacMurray College in the spring of 2000 during her first year of teaching at Mac. This year, students from the Social Work Club and MacMurray Student Association have been instrumental in organizing the event. Also, staff members from the Crisis Center Foundation contribute to the event.