Elizabeth Freeman Center Listens To Public & Makes A Big Decision
Elizabeth Freeman has made an important announcement on social media
After listening from the public they have made a decision on one of their biggest events.
For the past 10 yrs, The Elizabeth Freeman Center participated in a campaign called “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.” In the Berkshires, this event occurred every 3rd Thurs of Sept and grew each year. It was their biggest and most visible event in the community.
Throughout the years, they have heard from members of the local LGBTQ+ community, friends, and allies that the nature of this event was problematic. Over the past year, Elizabeth Freeman center solicited feedback through a survey and conversations around the event.
What they found out from this survey was that the use of red shoes to symbolize “Walk a Mile,” while encouraging men to participate and walk in high heels at the event, has contributed to gender stereotypes, transphobic tropes, and the devaluation of our LGBTQ+ community.
Also on their Facebook page, it says,
While it was never our intention, we acknowledge that we were causing harm. So, as an organization that seeks accountability every day through the services we provide, we must model accountability ourselves.
Elizabeth Freeman Center - our board, volunteers, and staff - sincerely and deeply apologize for the harm we have caused by failing, through the imagery we used, to include and welcome all community members to our events.
We would like to thank everyone who participated in this process. We recognize that for some, it was retriggering and difficult. Your openness and willingness to be vulnerable is creating change. And we hope that the change will be restorative.
Soon we will announce a new event that is informed by the feedback we have received, the conversations we have been a part of, and a goal to ensure that everyone feels there is a place for them with Elizabeth Freeman Center.
If you would like to reach out to us, please call 413-499-2425 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your continued support.