The clacking of heels on pavement could be heard along Rockhill Road and 51 Street last Tuesday evening during the Walk a Mile In Her Shoes charity event.
The annual fundraiser was held to raise awareness about violence against women.
For a fee ranging from $15 to $50, male students and community members had the chance to walk for charity in women’s heels.
Proceeds went toward the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project (KCAVP) and UMKC’s Violence Prevention and Response program.
Both promote awareness about violence and provide resources to students and community members in need.
This year’s event fostered 90 student volunteers and over 130 walkers. Women’s Center Violence Prevention coordinator Kerra McCorkle explained the student and volunteer support.
“We asked for volunteers through various networks,” McCorkle said. “This year we went to meetings with student organizations and tried to get them involved that way. We formed a committee, and so the people who sit on those committees provided the info about Walk a Mile in her Shoes to their organizations. We also had [a variety of] publicity [outlets] through Facebook, our website and local newspapers.”
Darius Jackson, president of the African-American Student Union, thought it was important for his organization to be a part of the event.
“I encouraged my members to get involved and my board to get involved to fight the cause [against] domestic violence and create awareness,” Jackson said. “I put myself in her shoes. I know a lot about domestic violence, so just to be able to help support [Walk a Mile in Her Shoes] and to be against domestic violence, to let people know what it does and how it affects other people’s lives- if I’m able to help raise awareness then I’m all for it.”
Community members were also invited to participate. Walker Ken Roggenkamp joined the event for a second time.
“A friend of mine is a rabble-rouser who got involved in the cause a couple years ago, and he recruited me for his team, so this is my second year,” Roggenkamp said. “It’s a great opportunity to raise awareness and money for the cause of preventing violence against women.”
Unlike previous productions of the event, this year, awards were given for best teams and individuals.
“This year we are doing things a little bit different,” McCorkle said. “We are incorporating actual awards this year and we are going to have a line dance at some point in the program, so there are definitely changes in the program this year.”
The fashions were preordered by the Women’s Center and are saved for future events. However, some attendees brought their own shoes for the evening, including Roggenkamp who purchased his from Deborah’s on 39th Street.
Committee member Keichanda Dees-Burnett saw value in the event and the support shown by male students.
“I think it’s a good cause and I’m glad to see our male college students taking a part in something that’s important,” Dees-Burnett said.
To find out more about KCAVP visit http://www.kcavp.org/site/.