Sisters on the Runway is taking on Domestic Violence Awareness Week. The week, which spans October 15 to 23, exists to bring awareness to domestic violence and fundraise for the Centre County Women’s Resource Center.
Sisters on the Runway is a student run organization committed to this exact cause. The national organization was founded in 2005 but the Penn State chapter was created in 2014 — thanks to the help of current president Layla Taremi.
“After watching SOTR: UMass Division’s Spring Fashion Show in 2011, I was inspired to start a division of my own. At this time I was only a sophomore in high school, but I knew I needed to start it in my community. In 2012, I started the SOTR: Cambridge Rindge and Latin (CRLS) Division. After falling in love with raising awareness and money for victims of domestic violence, I knew I could not stop after high school. When I got to Penn State, I met my best friend Lauren Shearer. I convinced her to start the organization with me, and together we have stood side by side fighting against domestic violence,” Taremi said.
Throughout the school year, the organization raises money to donate to the resource center and hosts and end-of-the-year a fashion show which is usually the culmination of its fundraising efforts. During this particular week, Sisters on the Runway is hosting events across campus to further its mission. Today (Tuesday, October 18), members of the organization will be showing their support by clothespinning.
“Clothespinning is where we hand out clothespins to students around campus with facts about domestic violence written on them, and a purple ribbon. We also hope to raise money with fundraisers at The Greek restaurant and Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. This week, we will also be releasing a video campaign to spread additional awareness through social media,” Taremi said.
On Wednesday, Alpha Kappa Lambda and Sisters on the Runway will hold a “these hands don’t hurt” event in the HUB. Students can stop by and pledge to help end domestic violence. Members ask that on Thursday students wear purple, the color of domestic violence awareness. Members will also be passing out purple flowers throughout the day.
The week will culminate on Sunday October 23, with SOTR’s annual Walk A Mile In Her Shoes event.
“Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is the International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence. We decided this event would be fantastic to spread awareness at Penn State for domestic violence, so Sisters on the Runway teamed up with Alpha Kappa Lambda in Fall 2014 to host our very first Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” Taremi said.
Sisters on the Runway and Alpha Kappa Lambda also teamed up with Delta Upsilon and the Interfraternity Council (IFC) for the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event. It will start at the DU house on Locust Lane at 1 p.m. Those who are interested must pay $5 to participate. This can be done a variety of ways, further explained on the Facebook event. In addition to the walk there will be “snacks, beverages, and guest speakers — including a representative from the CCWRC,” Taremi said. “There will also be a raffle, with gifts such as designer handbags, downtown store giftcards, and more.”
All proceeds from the event will go directly towards the Centre County Women’s Resource Center.