Amnesty International at SBC Focuses on Issues at Home

| April 14, 2009

Sweet Briar’s Amnesty International club is organizing “Awareness Week” April 21 through 24 featuring a series of events to highlight problems that Americans face at home — HIV and AIDS, hunger, homelessness and domestic abuse.

“Amnesty International is a small club but dedicated club on campus,” said Amnesty member Kimberly Shrader ’09. “We try to raise awareness about human rights issues in the U.S. and abroad, mostly through spreading information, etcetera. This year, we wanted to focus on American issues due to the hardship being faced by many people in our country.”

The schedule includes bringing an HIV mobile testing unit to Prothro from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 21. All SBC community members are welcome to get tested and those who do so will receive a “Live Positive” T-shirt and information pamphlets.

Shrader said they are encouraging people to be tested as a way of reducing the stigma associated with the virus and making HIV awareness as normal as giving blood or having a mammogram.

Wednesday’s issue is domestic abuse. A “Better than a Beater” tie-dye event will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Prothro. Students can tie-dye a tank top purple — the internationally recognized color to raise awareness of domestic abuse.

At 6:30 p.m. in Reid Pit, Jerry Hise, an investigator with the Lynchburg Police Department, will talk about the warning signs of domestic abuse and answer students’ questions.

On Thursday, Amnesty will host a food-themed event from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Boathouse for hunger awareness. Students will be asked to dress as their favorite food. Admission will be $3 or three nonperishable food items to be donated to local food banks.

Homelessness will be featured on Friday with “My Box Rocks!” from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. in Prothro Commons Courtyard. The build-your-own-box-house competition will pit teams of up to four students against each other to build the best house out of boxes and other recycled materials. Prizes will be awarded in several categories.

Live music also will be provided.

SBC Amnesty International’s “Awareness Week” receives support from the College’s Lectures and Events Committee and the Office of Co-curricular Life. For more information, contact[email protected].

Jennifer McManamay

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