Take Back the Night March April 21 at Colorado State University Features Nationally Recognized Women’s Rights Leader

Violence against women touches all communities. Take Back the Night marches are held across the country each year to remind us that the streets are not safe, and that the community can take them back by creating awareness of how sexual assault affects everyone.

Women from the northern Colorado community are invited to participate in the 1999 Take Back the Night March in Fort Collins on April 21. Participants will meet at 7 p.m. at the Colorado State University Lory Student Center Sculpture Garden to hear Cassandra R. Thomas deliver the keynote speech.

For the past 15 years, Thomas has committed her life’s work to counseling women. She is the senior vice president of the Houston Area Women’s Center and is nationally recognized as one of the leading experts on sexual assault. Thomas has spoken out on issues such as date and campus rape on national news programs including "Today," "Nightline," "Peter Jennings" and "20/20."

After Thomas’ keynote speech, participants will march from campus to Old Town Square in Fort Collins. For men who wish to support the marchers, there will be a speaker at Old Town Square at 8 p.m. When women arrive at Old Town candles will be provided to all participants as a symbol of light banishing the darkness of gender violence.

Other public events prior to the march include a talk by Thomas from noon-1 p.m. in Room 228 Lory Student Center as part of Colorado State’s "Women at Noon" series. Thomas will present "The Art of Surviving: Reclaiming Mind, Body and Spirit."

On April 20, Carmen Myrtis-Grimes will hold a workshop called "The Warrior Goddess Within: Reclaiming our Women-Power through Ritual." Myrtis-Grimes will focus on releasing fear and anger caused by abuse or assault. The workshop is from 6:30- 8:30 p.m. in the Cherokee Park Room at the Lory Student Center. Reservations are required, and there is a limit of 30 women. For more information, call (970) 472-1411.

Other events that support women who wish to share their personal experiences of victimization include a Survivor Panel presentation that is tentatively scheduled for April 22 at noon in Room 220-222 of the Lory Student Center. The Art Lounge located in the student center will also be exhibiting the "Clothesline Project," an exhibit of t-shirts designed by survivors of sexual assault that runs through April 15.

Colorado State Campus Women’s Alliance will sponsor women’s self-defense classes. Classes will be held on two consecutive Mondays on April 19 and again on April 26. Classes are free and will meet in Room 203-205 in the Lory Student Center from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Events are sponsored by the Campus Women’s Alliance, Associated Students of Colorado State University, Women’s Programs and Studies and the Residence Hall Association at Colorado State University.