I’ve been planning to write this post for about a month, but I’ve delayed, trying to come up with the most compelling way to inspire you to do something big with me. I may yet come up with that, but in the interim, here goes.
This afternoon, when I heard the news about the Tucson shooting, I shook for an hour. I realized I needed to do something positive to make myself feel like I was back in control, that violence hadn’t won, so sat down to write this blog post.
First, though, I created Walk the Walk for HAWC, a team for the Houston Area Women’s Center Race Against Violence. The race, a 5K run and walk, raises money for Houston’s largest nonprofit providing comprehensive services for survivors of domestic violence and rape. What I really want is for you to join my team, but here’s a bit more information first.
This race raises money that allows HAWC operate a 125-bed residential shelter, one of the largest in the country, that takes in not just women escaping violent relationships, but their children, boys and girls, up to age 18. Helps them answer 24-hour hotlines in any language. Allows them to counsel men, women, and children surviving horrific and intimate violence.
Now, clearly, there is a difference between a man who beats a woman (or a woman who beats a man, or another woman, or a man who beats a man – it doesn’t discriminate) and a political ideologue who fires a weapon at, among others, a congresswoman and a federal judge.
Maybe, but maybe not. At heart, we have people who handle conflict, disagreement, or disappointment with violence, and who not only didn’t get any cultural clues that was wrong, but may well have gotten the feeling their violence was justified, or even, horrifically, the right course of action.
I want the Race Against Violence to be HUGE. I want it to screw up traffic the way the Race for the Cure screws up traffic. I want every office, every school, every neighborhood to have a team.
I want to make sure that in Houston, we’re being perfectly clear about the fact that violence is wrong. I want people who resort to violence to get a clue that we won’t tolerate it, and I want people who are the victims of violence to know there’s a place they can go for help.
I’ll try to come up with that eloquent, compelling, stirring piece that will make you stand up and say yes, I, too, will join Team Walk the Walk for HAWC.
In the meantime, though, I encourage you to go ahead and join, without waiting inspiration to strike me. Get your friends involved. Let me know if you think we can blow past the $10,000 goal and reach $25,000, which would make a tremendous difference to the Women’s Center, by the way.
Be part of something positive with me. We may not be able to end violence, but if we don’t try, we definitely won’t. Let’s make it huge and loud and positive.