2017 Denim Day on Spelman's Campus

Jeans. They come in many different styles: baggy, boot cut, mom, high-waist, distressed, skinny, boyfriend, etc., the list goes on and on. They are a staple clothing item in most people’s closet, men and women alike. So when the third division of the Supreme Court of Appeals in Italy overturned a rape conviction, claiming “jeans cannot be removed easily and certainly it is impossible to pull them off if the victim is fighting against her attacker with all her force,” women in the Italian Parliament decided to wear jeans to work.

This movement served as a call to action and was taken up by the California Senate and Assembly, eventually leading to Patricia Giggans starting Denim Day in April of 1999, starting in Los Angeles. (Patricia Giggans is the Executive Director of Peace over Violence, is a sexual and domestic violence, stalking, child abuse and youth violence prevention center, dedicated to building healthy relationships, families and communities, established in 1971.) Being a women’s institution that motivates and encourages its students to speak up for what is right, Spelman College is participating in this year’s Denim Day, led by the Title IX office. Denim Week at Spelman is meant to be a week filled with opportunities for women and men to come out, be educated on assualt and the many forms it comes in, and have a safe space where they can share their story and experiences if they would like.

Denim Week began with a convocation on Thursday, April 20, that focused on educating students about Denim Day and the need to support causes that help end sexual assault or misconduct and gender-based violence.

That was followed by a showing of the film Escalation, on April 24th, which was produced to educate its viewers on relationship violence as well as embolden them to help effect change. This film was screened in conjunction with Morehouse College, and a discussion for students was held afterward.

On April 25th, there was a screening of The Hunting Ground by the Women’s Resource Center followed by a panel discussion.

Today, Wednesday, April 26th, Denim Day, there will be a special Denim Day Market in Upper Manley. This Market will be showcasing various community resources and organizations. Like with the previous events, the goal of this special Market is to spark conversations about assualt and keep students informed as to what resources they have and how Spelman is dedicated to standing in solidarity with it's students.  Spelman College’s Her Campus team will also be participating in Denim Day to stand in solidarity with victims of sexual assualt. We believe it is important to stand besides sisters and brothers who have been victims of assualt. If you would like to participate as well please visit the Milligan Building room 2305 to pick up a shirt and wear jeans.

For more info on how Denim Day started, click HERE. HERE is a New York Times article that covered the court dealings in ensuing actions during the time of the trial.  

(photos provided by peaceoverviolence.org and projecthelpnaples.org)