On Saturday, May 17, 2014, YW staff, volunteers and AmeriCorps members came to Railroad Park to prepare for the first annual Walk A Mile in Her Shoes®. Hosted by the YWCA Central Alabama’s Junior Board YWhisper Committee, Walk A Mile® is the only walk that challenges men to be “man enough” to walk a mile in heels. Although chilly wind and rain came early in the day, the sun, along with the brave walkers arrived just in time for a day of family fun, food, beer and raising funds and awareness for the YWCA’s Domestic Violence Services.
Over 170 walkers, men in their bright red heels along with supportive women, lined up to stride around the beautiful Railroad Park. After a short stroll around the park with the heeled masses holding signs displaying domestic violence statistics and information, a block party ensued, featuring fun music, delicious food from Jim N’ Nicks, beer from Good People Brewing Company, free healthy snacks from the Junior League of Birmingham’s Yummy Truck, a photo booth complete with silly costumes and a moon bounce for the kids.
The goal of Walk A Mile® was to bring together a community of young Birmingham professionals for domestic violence awareness, a cause that is often difficult to address. Domestic violence is often difficult to talk about because many of us often believe it does not happen around us, or we may even know individuals who have been victims or even perpetrators.
The evidence and need for public discussion is prevalent. Nationwide, 1 in 4 women will become victims of domestic violence; these victims may be family members, coworkers, neighbors or friends. To add to these staggering facts, there are 145 domestic violence incidents every hour in the United States alone, and there are many cases of violence each day that go unreported.
The objective of the YWCA’s Junior Board and its YWhisper Committee is to build awareness and support of the YW in the younger segment of the adult population in the Birmingham community and to be good will ambassadors for the YWCA. The Junior Board is a diverse group of young women committed to supporting the YW.
YWhisper Chair Erin Stephenson was thrilled at Saturday’s turnout. “The YWCA has an amazing community of supporters, but the heroes of Walk A Mile® were the men who enthusiastically showed up to sport red HIGH heels,” she said. “Their commitment to the YWCA’s domestic violence services was visible and moving, proving that domestic violence prevention is important to us all.”
We thank our fabulous YWhisper Committee for organizing Walk A Mile®. Their volunteered hours and dedication proves once again that with smart and generous minds and hearts, anything is possible.
We also thank our presenting sponsor Verizon Wireless, block party sponsor Cigna, Regions Bank, Resolute Running, Good People and Weld Birmingham. Such a successful event wouldn’t happen without their generous support. Thank you all for helping us raise awareness of domestic violence.
Finally, we would like to give a big YW thank you to Bromberg’s and Iron City for their generous prize donations for our Walk A Mile® “Best Legs” contest!
If you would like to support the ongoing efforts of our domestic violence services or many of our other crucial programs, please click here.