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'Take Back the Night' 2011 events begin April 11

April 04, 2011

Donna Adamo
(315) 443-5172

The Syracuse University R.A.P.E. Center will host a series of “Take Back the Night” workshops, speakers and gatherings April 11-14. The purpose of the events is to end violence in the community. Take Back the Night is sponsored by numerous student organizations.

tbtnStatistics show one in four college-age women will experience a sexual assault by the time they have completed college. Relationship violence is a significant problem affecting members of the campus community and the greater Syracuse community. The SU R.A.P.E. Center has organized events like Take Back the Night in an effort to end sexual and relationship violence, educate community members and show support to those affected by violence.

Take Back the Night spreads the message that every individual plays a vital role in making his/her community a safe and caring place to live. SU’s goal is to become a community of “empowered bystanders,” individuals who take action when witnessing potentially harmful behavior. Take Back the Night is a time to celebrate the commitment and courage of those who have taken the pledge to become empowered bystanders and encourage others to do the same.

Students and community members will have several opportunities to pledge their support. Students can visit the Hands Against Violence tables at various campus locations and take part in an “Empowered Bystander” project.

dibingaOmekongo Dibinga, a popular speaker at Take Back the Night 2010, will return as keynote speaker for Take Back the Night 2011. Dibinga’s presentation, “Breaking the Silence to Stop the Violence,” was coordinated by A Men’s Issue (AMI), a program that works in collaboration with the R.A.P.E. Center in promoting a safe, caring community that will not tolerate sexual violence.

Dibinga is a 21st-century educator, actor, poet, motivational speaker, publisher and author. Born of Congolese parents who fled their homeland because of their role in its fight for liberation, Dibinga uses his life experiences and gift of motivational speaking to help diverse audiences reach a common cultural understanding and acceptance. Dibinga has studied at Harvard, Princeton, Georgetown, MIT, Morehouse and the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy. He is currently a Ph.D. student in international education policy at the University of Maryland.

The activities for Take Back the Night 2011 include:

  • April 11,10 a.m.-4 p.m., Schine Student Center Atrium, and 5 p.m.-9 p.m., Goldstein Student Center, “Hands Against Violence;”
  • April 12, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Schine Student Center Atrium, “Hands Against Violence;”
  • April 12, 7 p.m., “Breaking the Silence to Stop the Violence” with Dibinga, Life Sciences Complex, Milton Atrium;
  • April 13, 7:30 p.m, Hendricks Chapel steps, march and rally with Dibinga;
  • April 14, “Got Consent? Day” sponsored by the University Judicial Board/Peer Education Team.

The rally and march are open to the public. For more information about “Take Back the Night” activities, contact Janet Epstein at 443-7098 or

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