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Walking the Walk

On September 12, dozens of men will gather in Bloomfield to Walk a Mile in Her Shoes®, giving these volunteers a chance to show off their gams and raise money for Pittsburgh Action Against Rape. The event is being organized by Camille Goleb, with whom we “talked the talk.”

What is “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes?”   It’s a walkathon with a difference. It’s fun and funny, but it’s also a great way to raise awareness in our community about sexual violence against women and to raise money for Pittsburgh Action Against Rape.

How did you get involved with this event? I did my first walk a mile event in college. It was pretty important to me as I became a sexual assault survivor at the age of 19. I remember feeling that I wanted to be supported by the community around me, even if they weren’t survivors themselves. It was an awesome event, and we had lots of participation. Even the campus cops and their dog showed up.

What made you want to organize one here in Pittsburgh? When I moved here three and a half years ago, I really wanted to feel that kind of support again. However, I didn’t know anyone in the city so putting together something this big was going to take some time. Now that I’m three and a half years in, I finally feel like I’ve made the connections I need in order to make an event like this a success.

What kind of connections do you need to put on a walkathon? All kinds. It’s flattering to me how many people have come together to help me. The connections that I’ve made so far in Pittsburgh have been invaluable to me in getting this event off the ground.  Mary Jo Coll, of Howlers in Bloomfield, has been instrumental in helping me put together the concert portion of the event and keeping me organized. Christina Howell, of Bloomfield Development Corp, has been amazing in helping us secure all the permits and the spaces that we need.

Sounds like there’s more going on for participants than just a stroll down the street. What else is happening? I’m really excited to get this first event off the ground. We have everything from a rally and speakers, to the walk itself, to the three venue show in Bloomfield we’re putting on with Mary Jo’s help.

It clearly a lot of work to put this together. Why is this event so important to you? 
What people really don’t get about this event is how much it would mean to a survivor like me to see someone, especially a man, come out and show support for our community in such a visible way. Of course it’s about giving back to the survivor community monetarily, we know that PAAR is going to benefit greatly from the money we’re putting through. But what means the most to me is seeing someone make a visible effort to let me know that they care.

I know that means a lot to other survivors around the world and I think people really shouldn’t underestimate the power that you give us by being willing to put on a pair of silly shoes and walk for one mile. It lifts our spirits and makes us feel supported, and honestly that is one of the most important things that that I’ve wanted on this journey.

What are your hopes for your first Walk a Mile event? I’d like to see the entire community come out and support in one way or another but I’d especially like to see everyone walking.

For more information, see the event’s Facebook page…or better yet, register now.