Student Cycles Across Country for a Cause
On a beautiful morning back in April, Western Carolina graduate student Luke Heller hopped on his bike and never looked back. Embarking on a journey across country with numerous stops along the way, Heller’s mission was to learn more about what men are doing in the work to end sexual violence and how he could raise awareness along the way. He returned to Asheville in August (after a whopping 5,000 miles) full of experience, new found wisdom, and hopes for the future.
Now he wants to get Asheville involved the best way he knows how – on bikes. As part of his year-long internship with Our VOICE, the Buncombe County Rape Crisis Center, Luke is leading a “Mini” Ride to End Rape on Saturday, October 22nd at 10:00 am. For a $20 donation (this registration fee covers lunch at Zuma Coffee in Marshall) cyclists can enjoy a magnificent fall ride along the river and learn more about Luke’s journey across country. Sponsored in part by Bio-Wheels if Asheville, the ride will leave the Greenlife parking lot, travel north on Riverside Drive, stop at Zuma Coffee in Marshall and return to Asheville. The ride is approximately 50 miles and cyclists can register online at http://www.ridetoendrape.com
“The beginnings of the Rape Crisis movement often denigrated men as the enemy,” Luke says, “now we know that true change can only come when men and women work together.” Luke’s efforts include compiling information about existing male-led sexual violence prevention programs and will result in the creation of curriculum and best practices around engaging men to forge solutions and bring about real change. “It is so great to be able to combine my love of cycling with the work that I am doing – it is a creative way to get people, especially men, talking about what is often a difficult subject.”
Luke shares the vision with Our VOICE that effective prevention efforts instill in all community members a sense of responsibility to stand against all acts of sexual violence and coercion.
For more information, please contact Our VOICE (828) 252-0562 or visit the website http://www.ridetoendrape.com
Our VOICE offers crisis response, counseling, and case management for survivors of sexual abuse. Our VOICE also offers prevention education programs to local middle and high schools, colleges, and community groups. For more information please call (828) 252-0562, visit the website at http://www.ourvoicenc.org, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on twitter @ourvoicenc.
In the pursuit of a community that is free from sexual violence, Our VOICE serves all individuals in Buncombe County affected by sexual assault and abuse through counseling, advocacy, and education.
Our VOICE 44 Merrimon Avenue Suite 1 Asheville, NC 28801
For additional information – www.ourvoicenc.org or (828) 252-0562
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