Students to rally against

TICONDEROGA - Concerned about sexual violence, students at the North Country Community College campus in Ticonderoga will rally to highlight the problem.

North Country Community College and Sexual Assault Services of Essex County will hold the third annual "Take Back the Night Rally and March" at the Ticonderoga campus at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 21.

The rally will feature a reception, a candlelight vigil and speakers addressing sexual violence.

The Clothesline Project will be explained as part of the event.

The Clothesline Project is a program started on Cape Cod, Mass., in 1990 to address the issue of violence against women. It is a vehicle for women affected by violence to express their emotions by decorating a shirt. They then hang the shirt on a clothesline to be viewed by others as testimony to the problem of violence against women.

Thomas Howard of the Matthew Shepard Foundation will speak on "erasing hate."

The Matthew Shepard Foundation was founded by Dennis and Judy Shepard in memory of their 21-year old son, Matthew, who was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in Wyoming in October 1998.

Created to honor Matthew in a manner that was appropriate to his dreams, beliefs and aspirations, the Foundation seeks to "replace hate with understanding, Compassion and acceptance" through its varied educational, outreach and advocacy programs and by continuing to tell Matthew's story.

The Shepard case remains one of the nation's highest profile hate crimes.

Hate crimes occur when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her perceived membership in a certain social group, usually defined by racial group, religion, sexual orientation, disability, class, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, gender identity or political affiliation.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, more than 7,000 hate crimes occur in the United States each year.

The NCCC Student Government Association will make a donation to the Sexual Assault Support Services of Essex County as part of the rally.

For more information on the "Take Back the Night Rally and March" contact Bella Doolittle at 585-4454 or bdoolittle@nccc.edu

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