Skip To Main Content

BARCC Updates

More Than 1,700 People Show Up for Survivors at Walk for Change

Group of participants at 2017 Walk for Change

On April 23, more than 1,700 attendees took part in our Annual Walk for Change, the largest gathering in New England raising awareness of sexual violence, to show their support for survivors. Participants at this year’s Walk for Change raised more than $222,000 for BARCC services. The total is a fundraising record for the event, which has taken place annually since 2006.  

Boston City Councilor-at-Large Ayanna Pressley inspired the large crowd during the morning kickoff rally:

“I wouldn’t miss this for the world. This is my tribe. . . . As you can see from the diversity of this crowd―every race, culture, gender, age, sexual orientation . . . this is a crime that does not discriminate. And it requires an entire community to get survivors on a pathway to healing. . . . For many of our survivors, today may be the first day, in this moment, that you know that you are not alone. . . . Today, we walk for change.”

Attendance at the Walk was up 35% as compared with last year’s Walk. Twenty-five area colleges and high schools took part, with a total of 531 walkers on their teams. In addition, 479 people have raised a record-breaking $222,865 to support BARCC’s comprehensive services, which include a 24-7 hotline, counseling, medical advocacy, assistance with legal and financial matters, and community education.

Kennedy Elsey, host of the Mix 104.1 Morning Show, emceed the morning rally, and Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley delivered the keynote speech. The Diamond Family Circus Teen Troupe performed at the pre-Walk rally. In addition to walking a 2.6-mile loop around the Charles River at DCR’s Artesani Park, participants enjoyed morning yoga, a photo booth, face painting, food trucks, lawn games, and other activities for all ages. They also wrote inspiring messages to survivors and pledged to take future action to end sexual violence.

Gina Scaramella, BARCC’s executive director, reflected on the success of this year’s event:

“Sexual assault often results in debilitating shame and isolation in the person who is victimized. The Walk for Change creates just the opposite: a feeling of community and caring. This year’s walk was no exception. It was a beautiful day, and more people came together than we have ever seen before―all to support survivors. This is a time when people are showing up for the organizations and people they care about, and we are so honored that BARCC is one of those organizations. It means so much to see people sending the message that they see and care about survivors of sexual assault.”

Activist sponsors of the 2017 BARCC Walk for Change were 90+ Cellars, Accunet, Bentley University, Citizens Commercial Banking, Goodwin, Insource Services, Inc., Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Northeastern University, Ropes and Gray, Sanofi Genzyme, and Uber. Community sponsors were Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston IT Services (BITS), Curry College, Eastern Bank, Eaton Vance, Emerson College, ExecuSpace Construction Corporation, Foley Hoag LLP, Funding Change Consulting, Massachusetts General Hospital, Mount Ida College, Partners HealthCare, Sherin & Lodgen LLP, and Wentworth Institute of Technology.

Share this Post:
Jessica L. Atcheson
As BARCC’s first staffer solely dedicated to communications, Jessica L. Atcheson leads strategies to advance BARCC’s mission and raise its organizational profile. She develops, implements, and evaluates strategic communications initiatives in a variety of online and offline channels. Prior to joining BARCC, Jessica served as the writer and editor at the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, an international human rights nonprofit. She began her career in nonprofit communications at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, where she worked as associate editor. She has also earned a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in communication studies from Hamilton College, studied at Oxford University, and served as a survivor advocate through the AmeriCorps Victim Assistance Program. She volunteers at the Network/La Red, which works to end partner abuse and support LGBQ/T survivors.

Leave a Comment




Looking for Support? Get Help