Please see the reflection below provided by A’Niya Robinson, a senior at Loyola pursuing a degree in political science.
Through the entire Take Back the Night planning process, one theme stayed on my mind: community. I was reminded that survivors of sexual assault and their supporters have the opportunity to come together to produce a formidable force. I was reminded of community when I saw the six different universities and members of the Crescent City come together on Thursday night. The Loyola Horseshoe was transformed into a huge crowd of supporters, survivors, and organizations. Towards the end of the event in the Horseshoe, participants were given candles to carry if they chose to march to Tulane. The small light flickering in the darkness of the night may look insignificant at first. However, when all of the candles gather together, an incredible light is produced. That light, for me, translates into a feeling of solidarity, hope, and support. At certain moments, survivors of sexual violence had the opportunity to share their story in the presence of supporters who gave hugs and words of encouragement.
I like to think of Take Back the Night as 600 friends that you never knew you had. In addition to the Horseshoe ceremony, our community was fortunate enough to host additional activities that gave support to survivors. There are truly no words to express my emotions as more stories are shared: the anger and hurt I feel for other survivors and my pride as I see their bravery. While we all are on different steps of our journey towards healing and reconciliation, I’d like to think other survivors feel that same reward. To me, that’s what Take Back the Night represents. We gain strength from our stories and from each other.