Igniting change: FIRE rallies to end silence, resist violence

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The second Take Back Our Lives rally and march was held on April 30, 2018. the event began with an open mic rally at on Bosco Plaza and terrace of the K-State Student Union, followed by a march through Aggieville, and concluding with a block party back at Bosco Plaza. (Alex Shaw | Collegian Media Group)

Feminists Igniting Resistance and Empowerment, a student-run organization, hosted its annual “Take Back Our Lives” rally and march Monday at 6 p.m. in Bosco Plaza. The event, which is in its second year, is meant to bring awareness to domestic and sexual violence.

Students, faculty and guest speaker Nina Jay, author of “Body of Rooms,” came together in a moment of vulnerability as they shared storied and poems of their own experiences.

“Like last year we foregrounded all the violence that shaped our daily lives and how they intersect,” said Shireen Roshanravan, FIRE faculty advisor and associate professor of American ethnic studies.

Jay, who is a Chicago native, was the keynote speaker at the event. She is known for her anti-violence spoken word poetry and art.

This being only the second year that the FIRE organization hosted “Take Back Our Lives,” Roshanravan said it was a privilege to have Jay speak with and engage the crowd before the rally.

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Spoken word artist and poet E. Nina Jay delivers a heartfelt performance of poetry at the Take Back Our Lives Rally, and March on Monday, April 30, at Bosco Plaza. (Alex Shaw | Collegian Media Group)

“She really brings together sexual violence, racism and poverty and really motivates the crowd,” Roshanravan said.

Evelyn Lucio, member of FIRE and junior in American ethnic studies, said she was went to the event to discuss DACA and her own experiences.

“I think it’s very important that we come out here and support,” Lucio said. “I hope that today people just take away the fact and learn from everybody’s stories that there are real-life issues that sometimes we don’t see because we don’t experience them.”

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The second Take Back Our Lives rally and march was held on April 30, 2018. the event began with an open mic rally at on Bosco Plaza and terrace of the K-State Student Union, followed by a march through Aggieville, and concluding with a block party back at Bosco Plaza. (Alex Shaw | Collegian Media Group)

Roshanravan said she hopes people present for the rally and the open microphone event gained the “inspiration to resist silence” in order to prevent the kind of violence that thrives in the darkness, whether that be small acts or speaking up.

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The second Take Back Our Lives rally and march was held on April 30, 2018. the event began with an open mic rally at on Bosco Plaza and terrace of the K-State Student Union, followed by a march through Aggieville, and concluding with a block party back at Bosco Plaza. (Alex Shaw | Collegian Media Group)

Lucio said she is looking forward to what the coming year brings for the “Take Back Our Lives” rally and march, and she said she hopes these public actions make a difference.

“Show respect and see that there are people out there trying to make a change and that we should listen and learn from them,” Lucio said.

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