With a “ta-da” flourish, volunteer shoe fitter Terrie Lind approves of Jonathan Changus’ fashion choice as he selects a pair of neon yellow platform shoes at the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes kick-off party last week.
With rows of stylish women’s pumps and wedge heels to choose from, dozens of men made their selections at Beatnik Studios, while registering for the upcoming Walk a Mile in Her Shoes march around Capitol Mall on May 3. The fifth annual event invites men of all ages to don high heels and walk one mile as a way to focus attention on sexualized violence against women. It’s part of a global campaign started in California in 2001.
The local event raises money for WEAVE’s 24-hour Crisis Intervention Services while bringing awareness to rape, sexual assault and gender violence. “It’s a unique, fun way to bring light to a serious topic,” said Megan Laurie, WEAVE’s events and community relations manager, saying it gives men an opportunity to get involved in a cause that primarily affects women.
Event organizers are hoping to break a world record by urging 1,000 men to walk a mile in high heels.
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WEAVE volunteer Lind says she applauds every participant for stretching beyond his comfort zone. “It doesn’t mean you’re not masculine,” she says. “It means you can put yourself in somebody else’s shoes and that’s a real strength.”