July 29, 2014  

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Clothesline Project Coming to Southern Miss April 23-26

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The Clothesline Project, a national violence awareness and prevention program, will be hosted at The University of Southern Mississippi on April 23-26 on Weathersby Lawn, located between ShoemakerSquare and Walker Science Building on the Hattiesburg campus. This free event is sponsored by the Department of English and Student Counseling Services, and is open to the public.

The Clothesline Project is a display of T-shirts created by survivors of violence, or created in honor of someone who has experienced violence, and hung on a clothesline for others to view. Blank T-shirts will be available, free of charge, for anyone wanting to share their story. The project will include resource information and an opportunity to make a T-shirt, and will remain on display throughout the week.  Opportunities to make T-shirts will be Monday, April 22 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Room A on the second floor of the R.C. Cook Student Union, and continue on Weathersby Lawn Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The shirts can be made at the display, or they may be made elsewhere and dropped off at the Clothesline Project at a later time. Organizers hope this will become an annual event during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The Clothesline Project can be borrowed at no cost to any organization interested in displaying the shirts at their events.

Department of English faculty member Dr. Rachel Spear wanted to bring the Clothesline Project to Southern Miss to offer a space for individual stories, as well as a collective story, to emerge. “It’s a way for survivors and loved ones to write, draw, tell their stories and to speak out against violence while simultaneously focusing on efforts of healing self, others, and the larger community,” Spear said.

Deena Crawford, director of Student Counseling Services, said “Each shirt is a powerful testimony to how someone survives violence and can become a voice of hope and advocacy.  Making a t-shirt in honor of self or others can be very empowering and is one way we can all join together to honor survivors of sexual abuse, rape, and domestic violence.”

For more information, visit www.clotheslineproject.org. For information on volunteer opportunities, contact Crawford at 601.266.4829 or deena.crawford@usm.edu. The Clothesline Project can be borrowed at no cost to any organization interested in displaying the shirts at their events.