NIU community walks to reduce violence

Amy Kreeger

People in the community rallied together in the Walk With Women Against Violence on Sunday in the MLK Commons.

Head coordinator Megan Flack, along with coordinators Candace Anderson and Christine Munz, all senior family and child studies majors, said they wanted to get the community involved.

“I have always been an advocate for women’s rights, and because of recent events, I was thinking of what we can do to send a message,” Flack said. The volunteers welcomed people with the chance to sign in using sunflower pens and get more information on what people can do about the violence towards women. There was a moment of silence at the beginning of the event to honor Antinette “Toni” Keller, as well as other recent violent events in the community.

“Peaceful actions are the way to change,” Munz said.

People who attended said they thought the event was a good way to help out the DeKalb community.

“I came here to support the cause,” said Andrew Swinden, senior political science major. “I believe it is a positive step that will point us in the right direction.”

With the School of Family, Consumer and Nutrition Sciences (FCNS) sponsoring this event and Safe Passage providing resources, the community concern was clear.

“I strongly believe in order to stop violence we need to start taking action in our homes and communities,” said Laura Smart, chair of the School of FCNS.

Concerned community members also came out to walk and show their support.

“I really wanted to walk for the cause,” Elizabeth Safford, a Kishwaukee College second year nursing major said. “I can’t do much, so what I can do, I will.”

Cold and rainy weather did not slow down any of the walkers, but Flack said it may have discouraged some people not to attend.

“The turnout was between 40 and 50 people,” Flack said. “The people who were passionate came to walk with us today.”

With advertisements on Facebook and the Daily Chronicle, the coordinators said they hoped for more of a turnout.

“I think a lot of people didn’t show up because of the weather,” Flack said. “It was supposed to be around 60 degrees. Nevertheless, it was a success.”

To give the cause more awareness, people got the opportunity to sign a petition that will go to Congress at the end of the walk.

“We want to see if they’ll back us and let them know we’re coming together,” Flack said. “We are no longer tolerant of violence against women and are going to continue to promote awareness.”