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Walk for Awareness Held Sept. 3 at Appalachian

BOONE–For 13 years, members of the Appalachian State University and Watauga County communities have gathered to raise awareness regarding assault on women and others.

This year’s annual Walk for Awareness will be held Tuesday, Sept. 3, beginning at 9 p.m. at Appalachian’s Sanford Mall. Participants will walk silently through campus and downtown Boone to the Jones House.

The walk began in 1989 following the abduction and murder of university employee Jeni Gray. It serves as a memorial to Gray and to remind campus and the community of the need for personal safety. It also supports victims and survivors of acts of violence, and affirms participants’ commitment to stand against violence and other forms of disrespect.

The Walk for Awareness will feature remarks from Appalachian students Justin Farmer and Tiffany Cole, staff members Denise Lovin and Tracey Wright, and sexual assault specialist Sabrina Garcia. The university’s Gospel Choir also will participate.

In addition, other events have been planned preceding and following the walk.

On Thursday, Aug. 29, students and others can stop by the amphitheater adjacent to Plemmons Student Union on campus and paint a T-shirt with anti-violence messages. The event runs from 1-4 p.m. and is part of the international Clothesline Project. The project encourages men and women to make a statement in response to violence. The shirts will be on display along the Walk for Awareness route.

The program “Mindset of the Rapist: Understanding and Avoiding Sexual Crimes” will be presented Wednesday, Sept. 4, at 7:30 p.m. in Farthing Auditorium. The speaker is Sabrina Garcia, a domestic violence and sexual assault specialist for the Chapel Hill Police Department.

Garcia works to improve police services to victims of domestic and sexual violence. She develops, trains and supervises specialized teams of officers, crisis counselors and investigators to respond to victims of domestic and sexual violence. Garcia has worked in the field of response to sexual violence for more than 20 years. She is a frequent presenter on the topics of sexual and domestic violence, stalking and rape crisis.

For more information, call Denise Lovin or Chris Hogan at 262-3180.

Funding for these events has been provided by the Appalachian Parents

Association and the community’s Sexual Assault Response Team.