ITHACA, N.Y. – Hundreds of students and Ithaca community members are expected to march from several locations throughout the city to rally in support of survivors of domestic and sexual violence on Friday.
Take Back the Night is a worldwide event and one of the earliest global protests against domestic and sexual violence. Here in Ithaca, the rally is put together by The Advocacy Center, a local organization that helps survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
The rally is set to take place from 7 t0 9 p.m. Friday on the Ithaca Commons, which marches beginning earlier.
Marches are planned from Ithaca College and Cornell University campuses and the Greater Ithaca Activities Center, and will all convene on the Ithaca Commons later for a larger rally. Students from Ithaca High School, Lehman Alternative Community School and Tompkins Cortland Community College are also expected to join the marches.
While students have a large part in the march, organizer Naomi Barry, who works at the center, said this year’s march also focuses heavily on the larger community.
“The theme we chose this year was ‘Justice for #MeToo,’” Barry said. “This came about for several reasons, primarily to highlight the importance of the #MeToo movement and how it brought things to the surface that people have been talking about for a long time.”
With a planning collective that has been meeting since February, Barry said the theme was chosen as a way to show how many people the movement has impacted both globally and locally.
“As we live in a culture that silences survivors, this was really a way to show how many people the #MeToo movement has affected,” Barry said.
This year, the rally will kick off with a proclamation delivered by Ithaca’s Mayor Svante Myrick, Barry said.
David Isley from the House of Merlot, the GIAC Jumpers, Angie Beeler, Stacy Murphy and Colleen d’Alelio are also among performers who will present songs, dances and poems throughout the night.
This year’s keynote speakers will include Athena Merlot, a founding member of The House of Merlot, and Liz Karns, a data analyst who studies the economic consequences of domestic violence.
“We’ve got so many amazing people lined up for the night, but of course, the heart of the rally is the speak-out portion where survivors have the opportunity to get on stage and tell their story,” Barry said.
Marches are scheduled to leave from the Textor Ball at Ithaca College at 6:15 p.m, Ho Plaza at Cornell University and 6:30 p.m, and GIAC at 310 W. Court St. at 6:45 p.m. The rally is set to take place from 7 t0 9 p.m. on the Commons on Friday.