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Celebrating Barry's
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A week of festivities

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Students overcome obstacles to succeed

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Reaching a new generation

Spring 2014

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A Walk To Remember

Supporters walk through Barry's campus

By Sara Pauline Burke, Barry University Graduate Student

“I wanted to participate to help a good cause and I learned that just by participating I made a difference.”

Powerful T-shirts are made to increase awareness

For many, Valentine’s Day is divided between the taken and the singles; a day of elation or frustration. However, on or around the past four Valentine’s Days, Barry has chosen to celebrate love, turning its attention to the important social issue of domestic violence by hosting the annual College Bride’s Walk. This event includes a full day of seminars and speeches on various related topics and a 6-mile walk to partner Johnson and Wales University and back. This year, about 1,000 people participated, including more than 600 local high school students who received important education about healthy relationships.

The College Bride’s Walk emerged from the Bride’s March, which started 13 years ago after Josie Ashton marched in her wedding dress from New Jersey to Miami to raise awareness about the murder of Gladys Ricart by her abusive ex-boyfriend on her wedding day in 1999.

For some attendees a day of simple service or curiosity turned into something more meaningful and educational. Lauren Lorence said she was touched by the stories she heard. “I wanted to participate to help a good cause and I learned that just by participating I made a difference.”

Other attendees went for more personal reasons, such as student Travis Hogue, who had experienced abuse in the past and felt it important to “make sure this event runs smoothly and helps save the lives of the youth in our community.” Hogue found comfort hearing the stories of others. “Even though I was a victim and went through it alone, I really wasn’t alone.”

Another student who attended and was also a victim of violence said, “I was shocked to hear about the stories where children were affected. I also never thought male-on-male, female-on-male, or even teenage domestic violence occurred.”

By hosting the College Bride’s Walk on Valentine’s Day, Barry is not only in keeping with its commitment to social justice and collaborative service, but turned an otherwise typical holiday into a more meaningful, commemorative, educational, and deeply empowering experience for the people who attended.