For the first time since 2019, hundreds of walkers are expected to join The Center for Family Justice for its 10th annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes when it returns as an in-person event in downtown Fairfield on Saturday, April 23.
Since 2012, CFJ has held Walk a Mile Her Shoes each April to raise funds for its mission and highlight the programs and services it offers to victims of sexual abuse and violence during what is also Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Awareness Month. For the last two years, CFJ has held the event as a virtual fundraiser because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Presented by Aquarion Water Company, the popular walk is produced by CFJ’s White Ribbon Committee, a group of male community leaders who collaborate with the nonprofit to draw attention to the impact violence and abuse has on women and girls. While anyone can join, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is noteworthy for the number of men who join in wearing women’s footwear, including high heels, to signify their solidarity with victims and survivors of sexual violence.
Easton Police Chief Richard Doyle is a member of the White Ribbon Committee and has been a long-standing supporter of CFJ. He will again be participating in the walk.
“We are thrilled to finally be able to bring our friends and supporters together this year to celebrate our milestone 10th anniversary,” said Debra A. Greenwood, President & CEO of The Center for Family Justice. “While we’ve had virtual walks for the past two years that were inspiring and successful, there’s something special about coming together to say we care about creating safer, healthier communities free of the trauma of abuse,” she said.
As he has done for the last 10 years, this year’s walk will be led by Gary MacNamara, Executive Director of Public Safety & Government Affairs at Sacred Heart University, and the former Fairfield Police Chief. Gary will be joined leading the procession by the Connecticut Hurricanes Drum & Bugle Corps, which will take the walkers down the Post Road toward the final destination of Fairfield Town Hall.
“It is hard to believe this year marks our 10th anniversary for the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event,” said MacNamara. “It’s enduring success shows the dedication and commitment of our six towns and shows support for victims and survivors of sexual violence. Each year this event continues to grow, and we know this year will be our biggest.”
The last time CFJ held the walk as a live event more than 1,500 people joined MacNamara, who always leads the walk wearing a power of towering red stiletto heels. “The most significant legacy of our Walk a Mile event is to create change in our community,” said MacNamara. “Over the last 10 years, neighbors, friends, town leaders and others have had a major impact in changing the lives of those need it and walk hand in hand each year to show it.”
This year’s walk will once again benefit the Elizabeth M. Pfriem Camp HOPE America-Bridgeport and its related Pathways to HOPE program. These CFJ programs serve youth ages 7-17 who have been impacted by the trauma of abuse by offering them an evidence-based summer camp and a year-long engagement and mentoring program.
CFJ welcomes individuals and teams to walk to raise funds for this life-changing program and also take a stand against sexual violence and abuse in the six communities it serves. Walkers are encouraged to sign up as individuals or teams by visiting the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes page at CenterforFamilyJustice.org. Adult registration is $25, students are $10 and children 10 and under walk for free.
To learn more about Walk a Mile in Her Shoes as well as sponsorship opportunities and walk registration for teams and individuals visit centerforfamilyjustice.org or call CFJ’s Development Team at 203-334-6154 ext. 121.