The HJ Cody Interact Club is once again bringing the conversation about gender violence to the forefront with the annual Walk A Mile In Her Shoes.
The event will be held on June 3 with cohort classes taking a walk from the high school to Bethany Sylvan Lake and back, in high heels.
The annual event is a fundraiser for the Outreach Centre in Red Deer, and acts as the beginning of conversations and education around healthy relationships and gender-based violence.
This is the fourth year the event has taken place, and the students really get behind the event, according to Alana Routhier, Interact advisor at the high school.
“I have been pleasantly surprised with the amount of participation and enthusiasm the students have for this event, and have right from the beginning,” Routhier said.
The staff at the school have also used the as a jumping off point to begin educating students about healthy relationships.
Routheir says because sexuality and gender identify has become more fluid, the education pieces are more about what is found in healthy relationships and how to identify negative or harmful behaviour.
She says students are also being educated on gender violence.
“This is a very important conversation to have, and in the past year we have seen reports of gender-based violence has been on the rise,” said Routhier. “If we can educate our kids on the matter and show this is supported by our community than I think we can start to make a difference.”
The community can participate in the event as well, and Routhier says it is encouraged to have locals participate.
“I think it means a lot when the kids see adults and members of the community come out and take the walk with them.”
The walk normally involves participants walking one mile in a pair of high heeled shoes. Male participants can borrow a pair from the school. Up to size 15 are available.
“You can wear your own of course, but we have up to size 15 men’s available, and I know those are pretty hard to come by,” said Routhier.
“I know a lot of girls don’t really wear high heels anymore, I know I don’t, so by the end of it we are all hurting.”
Routhier said the walk is not to make light, or making fun, of a very serious situation. Instead it is taking a serious situation and bringing it into a lighter setting so it is easier to approach.
She says by putting it into a lighter atmosphere, it makes it easier to approach and converse about.
Community members wishing to participate can sign up through www.outreachcentre.org, and can walk with students or on their own.
Students will begin leaving the high school around 11 a.m. on June 3. The start will be staggered and students will be leaving with their cohort groups.
Routhier says there is no set amount the Interact Club is hoping to raise, just “as much as possible.”
“If you can participate I encourage everyone to sign up through the website, or if you can’t to consider donating to one of the participants.”