Malone, N.Y. – North Country Community College is raising awareness of domestic violence through a powerful and unique art exhibit that will be unveiled during its Take Back the Night rally on Oct. 26 at the college’s Malone campus.
“Journey Shoes” will feature pairs of shoes that have been altered to illustrate what it’s like to experience or witness domestic violence.
“The idea is the shoes become symbolic of domestic violence awareness, by walking in my shoes or taking a journey in my shoes,” said Renee Poirier, an assistant professor of human services at the college who is helping to organize the event. “It may be a real personal thing for some people. It may be that they know friends or family who have been victims of domestic abuse, or it may represent the messages people get from society about violence toward women.”
Students, faculty and staff at the college, as well as the public, are encouraged to alter a pair of shoes for the exhibit. Bins of shoes and art supplies have been placed in the lobbies of the Ballard Mill and Reshetkina Hall buildings, and people can bring in their own shoes.
The “Journey Shoes” exhibit will be displayed during the college’s Take Back the Night event on Oct. 26 from 5 to 7 p.m.
The evening begins with an opening reception, after which NCCC English Professor Dr. Stacey Mascia-Susice and her sister Kerri Sue Torres will deliver a series of readings and invite others to speak about domestic violence. The event will close with a burning ritual, Poirier said.
“People can write a comment with their thoughts about domestic violence, or a person’s name who was been abusive to them, and burn those pieces of paper,” she said.
As a former social worker, Poirier said she has worked with both victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. It’s important for people to know there is help available, she said.
“We want to raise awareness within the college and within the community,” she said. “Sometimes people aren’t aware of the dynamics of domestic violence until they’re in the middle of it, or they don’t see the red flags. We want to create awareness and get information and resources out there so people have access to it.”
“Journey Shoes” and the college’s Take Back the Night event are being organized by the NCCC Malone Art Club, Human Services Club and Student Government Association, in partnership with the Franklin County Intimate Partner Violence Task Force.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
About North Country Community College: As the only public college located in the Adirondack Park, North Country Community College provides educational, cultural and recreational programming to a 3,500 square mile service area with 90,000 inhabitants. The College maintains three campuses in Saranac Lake, Malone and Ticonderoga, New York; an extensive high school-based academic partnership; and online course offerings. North Country Community College is part of the SUNY (State University of New York) system. With 64 unique Colleges and Universities, SUNY provides learning environments for every type of student, every stage of life, and every kind of passion. For more information, visit www.nccc.edu.