Take Back the Night Raises Awareness for Gender-Based Violence through Powerful Performances

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Marching from the steps of Samuel Phillips Hall to Abbot campus, dozens of community members took part in the seventh annual ‘Take Back the Night’ event on Saturday, April 30 to raise awareness for gender-based violence. During the evening, a variety of performance groups delivered a series of poems, songs, and personal essays to build solidarity and connection within the community.

Josie Banson ’22 (Organizer)

“I think it’s important to show support to survivors of gender-based violence because it’s such a prevalent issue and it affects so many people. Having a school-wide organized event for a lot of people to show their support is really meaningful to the community…[and] showing what we stand for…There’s just a lot of time and planning that goes into it…it’s very fulfilling to be able to help make that happen…We hope that the audience took away an uplifting feeling when we did the march…When we went into the [Abbot] circle, that was really centered on uplifting the community and healing with the performances, the songs, the candles, and generally the saying names aspect…We [also] had the debriefing and the quilt making…the Brace Center. That was mostly just to be able to have a space for people to decompress and come together after the events.”


Liz Zhao ’24 (Keynotes Performer)

“I’m in [the] a cappella group Keynotes, and today four of our members performed the song ‘Warrior’ by Demi Lovato. Demi is someone who I think has been very open about their struggles, especially regarding sexual assault…their song ‘Warrior’ is about sexual assault…[and] we’d thought it’d be a very fitting song choice for this kind of event, as well as the fact that members of our group know the song and I think a lot of members of the audience know the song as well…Sexual assault is a very heavy topic. In a lot of instances, people wouldn’t be comfortable discussing it, but that doesn’t mean it should be hidden. This ‘Take Back the Night’ event is doing a lot in terms of helping sexual assault, [spreading] more awareness. We perform at this event because we feel like this cause is very important as well.”


Jane Park ’22 (Keynotes Performer/Duet Singer)

“I think the line ‘no one is alone’ really resonated with the message of Take Back the Night—as people were marching in solidarity and unity, down campus and to Abbot campus. I think it  recognizes the significance of standing as a community and love and solidarity against gender based violence.”


Darla Moody ’24 (Photon Performer)

“We wanted to do something much [slower] and more lyrical…I think it’s a pretty meaningful event for everyone in their own personal ways, but I think what’s really cool is that we can all sort of get behind one routine, regardless of our individual experiences and sort of encounters with the message of the event…It’s a meaningful event for everyone in their own personal ways, but I think what’s cool is that we can all sort of get behind one routine, regardless of our individual experiences and encounters with the message of the event…the songs and lyrics speak to a general message of reflection…[and] it doesn’t have to be anything specific. It’s a vague message of moving on or rebirth, and I think the themes of rebirth and moving on versus hanging on to certain things is very relevant to the event.”


Langan Garrett ’24 (Audience Member)

“I felt like the performances really enhanced the meaning of Take Back the Night by bringing the community together around art and survivors. It was a great way to include alternative narratives in a really beautiful and beneficial way.”