*NOTE (2:15 p.m. Friday) — With potential thunderstorms, the location of the event has been moved to the gym at the Greater Ithaca Activities Center, at 301 Court St. More information and a map is here.
ITHACA, N.Y. – Forty years strong in our community, this Friday community members will join in solidarity with other locales across the globe to call for an end to sexual and intimate partner violence. The event begins with marches from Ithaca College, Cornell University, and The Greater Ithaca Activities Center processing to a rally and candlelight vigil on the downtown Commons 7 to 9 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, and everyone who wants to see an end to all forms of violence in our community and world is invited to participate.
Take Back the Night amplifies the message to survivors that you are not alone, you and your story matter, and there is support for you in our community. With this in mind, the community collective who are organizing Take Back the Night in partnership with The Advocacy Center of Tompkins County chose the 40th anniversary 2019 theme Light Out of Darkness. The event creates a platform to honor the survivors of the many forms domestic and sexual violence can take. People of all genders, races, bodies, sexual orientations, ages, religions, identities, and affiliations are impacted by these forms of violence; it is a human issue. This said, it’s important to acknowledge and address the differing ways some people and groups are disproportionally affected, including women, indigenous communities, women of color, people with a disability, and members of the LGBTQ community. Visit RAINN and National Sexual Violence Resource Center for more information.
This year’s rally will feature keynote speaker Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, Tompkins County Legislator, Director of GIAC, and dedicated advocate for women, children, families, people of color, and our community. The Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers chorus, The GIAC Jumpers dance troupe, singer/songwriter Angie Beeler, musician Kyra Skye, and performing group Two Tequilas and a Gin will also perform during the event. The rally will culminate in a survivor and ally speak-out where people are offered a space to share their stories and be heard, followed by a candlelight vigil to honor the lives of survivors both with us and not.
An original piece by local artist, paper and print-maker Laura Rowley is featured as this year’s artwork, a celestial creation featuring constellations and sun rays. When asked about her design and intention behind its creation Rowley shared, “I chose the constellation font to represent the community support network that survivors need for processing their traumatic experiences. It is important to connect with others who have had similar experiences, as well as share with those people who have not. The sun-like image represents the transition from trauma to recovery to joy.” T-shirts with Rowley’s piece will be available for sale at the event.
On Friday, April 26 marches will leave from Ithaca College’s Textor Hall at 6:45 p.m., Cornell University’s Ho Plaza at 6:30 p.m., and The Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC) at 6:45 p.m. The rally and vigil will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at GIAC. For more information please visit http://ithacatbtn.weebly.com/.