We Painted our Campus Purple for #DVAM

By Mari Vangen
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On Wednesday, October 28, Guilford College took on Domestic Violence Awareness on our campus, and we painted the campus purple.

This initiative took place as part of the city-wide Domestic Violence Awareness movement, headed by the Sherri Denese Jackson Foundation for the Prevention of Domestic Violence in Greensboro NC.

The amazing organizers of the foundation aimed to paintthe entire city of Greensboro Purple for Domestic Violence Awareness, and invited Greensboro college campuses to join in on the action!

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1 in 4  women and 1 in 7 men will experience intimate partner violence during their college career. Guilford College, with our core values and empathy and commitment to social justice, took these stats and ran with them, in the true Guilfordian way.

We wanted to remind the campus of the seriousness of domestic violence, and how urgent it is that we prevent it.

We know education to be the prime tool for prevention, so we distributed flyers and informational resources across every table in the dining hall, and decked out the walls of the dining hall with further decorations, all of which we printed on purple paper.

The handouts provided statistics that were quick and easy to retain, and sparked conversations across campus about domestic violence.

The initiative conveniently fell during #blacklivesmatter week, which ended up being a blessing for us to take the necessary intersectional approach to domestic violence. Domestic violence disproportionately affects women of colour, and and any solutions we pursue must remember to use anti-racist methods.

To honour this intersectional approach, many of the statistics highlighted the intersection of domestic violence in women of colour.

The founders of the foundation came to lunch in the caf on the ‘painting’ day, and we surprised them with a menu in the dining hall that featured purple foods: purple chips, purple cabbage, purple sweet potato soup, purple fruit cobbler, and purple yogurt !

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Covering all the banisters in the caf were affirmational flyers saying “not alone” and “not your fault”.

We wanted these affirmations to assert that domestic violence is never the fault of the victim/survivor, that any accountability should be placed on the perpetrator, and that victims/survivors have a community of support on our campus.

By Mari Vangen

Mari Vangen is a National Campus Organizer with the Feminist Majority Foundation. A proud Minnesotan, Mari loves her bike, watches Broad City religiously and is passionate about all things related to whales. [email protected]

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