Program focuses on violence

Two shoes, a baby’s and a woman’s, tied together by a string, told the story of a mother and child stabbed to death-not by a stranger, but by the father.
There were as many tragic tales as there were shoes lining The Rock this week for “Guns ‘N Violence Awareness Week. ”
Each shoe represented tragedy, innocence lost, and broken dreams.
Every shoe placed on the steps symbolizes those who were killed by a gun, violence, and above all, ignorance.
Some of the shoes were tied together, representing families or groups of people who died as a result of gunfire.
Baby shoes were placed in the front in order to capture people’s attention.
“Guns ‘N Violence Awareness Week” was sponsored by LINK, a programming board of the Volunteer Services Center.
“The shoes are a silent march for those who have been affected [by guns],” said LINK co-chair Azuree Ashby.
Many curious students stopped by the display to inquire about the shoes that were placed on the steps.
Many of them left distraught after realizing that each shoe meant one life lost, the victim of tragedy.
For every shoe there was a piece of paper attached to it telling the story of those killed from gunshots.
“We want to raise awareness about what is going on,” Ashby said.
Another story was about a 17 -year-old with law school aspirations who was instantly killed by a bullet to the head.
“It’s disturbing that each of the shoes out here represent one person’s life,” said junior Bianca Barkley.
“There should definitely be a law about gun safety,” said sophomore Mike Baluyot.
“Eventually these shoes will be donated to the Miami Rescue Mission,” Ashby said.
LINK also provided a display of statistics of gun-related violence.
“Guns kill 34,000 Americans every year and 13 children everyday,” read one poster.
“Child abuse kills more children in America than does accidents, falls, choking on food, drowning, fires, or motor vehicle accidents,” stated a banner at The Rock.
The display also allowed students to post their thoughts about violence and fatal encounters with guns.
The showcase also served as a type of memorial for those who died in such circumstances.
“In October 2000 a young man, Louie Demedieros took his own life…stop unregistered guns and stop the killing,” read one memo.
For each day of the week, LINK also focused on specific issues surrounding guns and violence. Monday focused on those who were affected or killed by guns. Gray armbands were distributed at The Rock for those who wanted to support gun safety and awareness.
Tuesday centered on racism and hate crimes, and orange armbands were passed out.
On Wednesday LINK concentrated on child abuse and youth violence, and gave out blue armbands.
Thursday focused on domestic violence and date rape, represented by the green armbands that were handed out.
Today is dedicated to all those people who died as a result of violence or guns.
In honor of all the victims, their names will be read aloud, and purple armbands will be distributed.

February 8, 2002


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.