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Detroiters ‘Take Back the Night’ for the 6th time

MarygroveBy Steve Furay
Special to the Michigan Citizen

On April 11, Marygrove College will host the 6th Annual Take Back the Night Detroit event, recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The free event will be held from 6-9 p.m. at the Madame Cadillac Building, 8425 West McNichols Road. All are encouraged to attend.

Take Back The Night Detroit will feature dance, a live DJ, spoken word performances, a candlelight vigil and guest speakers from the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. The event is sponsored by the Marygrove Student Government, the Marygrove Women’s Center, the Marygrove Social Work Department and the Sexual Assault Services for Holistic Healing and Awareness (SASHA) Center.

“It is an event focused on survivors — self-identified survivors of sexual assault and rape,” says Kalimah Johnson of Marygrove College and founder of the SASHA Center. “And by April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month, what we want to do is bring awareness to the heinous crime, but also to provide a space for people to identify ways to heal and to learn about organizations within the Southeastern Michigan area that help survivors of sexual assault and rape.”

The Take Back the Night Foundation is a national organization that works to end sexual assault and domestic violence, striving to make safer communities and helping the healing of survivors through events and initiatives that raise awareness.

Johnson, who has been an assault counselor for 20 years and is a survivor herself, founded the SASHA Center to provide education and support for survivors of sexual assault. The organization provides presentations and workshops to schools, churches, businesses and other organizations, and emphasizes activism within the community to raise awareness of sexual assault.

“We partner with other organizations and do our support groups in very non-traditional ways,” says Johnson. “We have a support group that happens in an urban garden, we have a support group that we partner with the women’s center at the college with, we have a support group that we partner with other organizations, at events, because we believe that comprehensive response to a community that’s dealing with rape has to be done in a culturally specific way.”

For more information, visit www.SASHACenter.org.

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