Penn State men’s mile strut
An annual event motivated nearly 35 men at the Penn State Lehigh Valley campus to hit the pavement in hot red high heels. “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” is an event in support of women and against sexual assault, violence and abuse. RISE, Response in Sexual Exploitation, is a campus club which hosted the event April 24.
Students began “the strut” in the parking lot and made their way around the school, ending at the campus’s Lion Shrine for a group photo. As the men walked, student leader Previn Joseph inspired club members with chants such as “Stand Up, Speak Up” and the classic Penn State “We Are.” Each participating student received a red shirt with the “Stand Up, Speak Up” phrase on it to match their shoes.
Students Naseeba Saeed, incoming president of RISE and Devon Cunningham, the outgoing president, spoke to the group after the walk. Student Life Coordinator Pam Fleck gave remarks after the event along with Anna LeBoeuf, the fundraising outreach coordinator of Valley Against Sex Trafficking. LeBoeuf was a supporter of the event, as the message of Walk a Mile aligns with her local nonprofit organization’s mission “to eliminate human sex trafficking through trauma healing, cultural change and justice.”
This was the third year the campus held the walk, but the national Walk a Mile organization has been established and active for over 15 years. Although women don’t need to wear the heels, many walked with their fellow classmates, cheering them on as they took their first steps in the specially made men’s heels. RISE plans to continue to hold the event annually, as it is a great opportunity to show support and bring the campus community together.