This year’s Take Back the Night rally and march includes a free dinner, entertainment, speakers and candlelight vigil at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, 1501 Hennepin Avenue South on Friday, April 29 from 6 to 9 p.m.
Minnesota Public Interest Research Group, a grassroots, nonprofit, student-directed organization, has been in charge of planning this event in the Twin Cities for the past 14 years. The event is a stand against all forms of sexual violence.
“What is different this year is MPIRG has formed a coalition of 15 student groups from various universities and state-wide non-profits, to engage more of the community and broaden the definition of sexual violence,” said Melanie Williams, TBTN gender and sexuality task force leader. “There is a variance of objectives of each group represented but some are based around sexual assault prevention, queer advocates, women’s rights and a general activism.”
“We will have security personnel at the rally, either MCTC security guards or Minneapolis police plus we will train our own marshals for the march,” said Williams. “We are anticipating large numbers of attendees this year.”
Other new features will be an indoor event space, tables for sponsoring organization and on-site crisis counselors from Aurora Center.
“This is an opportunity for the community to get together to end violence,” said Amy Highness, community educator coordinator for Alexandra House. “So survivors of violence can share their stories in a safe environment.”
Participating organizations from around the Twin Cities:
Speakers for Take Back The Nightt:
Remy Corso is from GLBTA Programs Office and the Transgender Commission at the U.
Ross Neely is coordinator, GLBTA Programs Office staff at the U.
Coya Artichoker, a Sicangu Lakota who grew up on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, works to bring together LGBT people who living alone or in small numbers, through her organization, called Sacred Circle, a resource center to end violence against Native American women.
Jude Foster is the Hennepin County Systems Change Program Manager, Sexual Violence Center.
Performers at Take Back The Night:
Heidi Barton Stink Stink is a trans-radical M.C. based out of Minneapolis. She writes and performs positive Hip-Hop with an emphasis on social justice and trans and queer rights.
Linda Her is Hmong, queer, spoken word and hip-hop artist from St. Paul.