Feb 21, 2020

Campus groups host event to battle femicide

Fund-raiser will enable a victim advocate to attend Fresno State

In an effort to raise funds and awareness, two campus student organizations will host an event March 8 to shed light on the femicide occurring in Juarez, Mexico.

The People Organized for Women’s Empowerment and Representation and the Femicide Action Committee will join forces for this event.

Kaley Henry, a student member of P.O.W.E.R., described the organization and how they plan to speak out against femicide.

“We are an activist group that deals with a broad range of issues,� Henry said. In addition to speaking out against violence, P.O.W.E.R. also works for peace activism, animal rights, environmental concerns and promoting women in the arts, Henry said. The main goal for the evening is to raise money to bring a victim advocate from Mexico to Fresno State to earn a certificate in victim services.

The victim advocate who will attend Fresno State is Manuela Correa Mendez.

Dr. John Dussich, an associate professor in the criminology department, began the victim assistance program in 1983. Dussich, who came up with the idea to bring Mendez, has high hopes for her once she earns her certificate.

“I want her to come away with enough knowledge and resources to draw on to turn around and help the people of Juarez,� Dussich said. “I hope she will get a sense that she has friends here who care about what is going on in Juarez.�

Dussich shared how he has experienced “direct contact� for five or six years with the killings taking place in Mexico.

“This is the first time an opportunity has come up to do something about it,� Dussich said. “This is first step in that direction.�

Like Dussich, Henry expects positive results to extend beyond the United States-Mexico border. “Later on, we hope to send criminology interns there,� Henry said. “Our goal is not only to bridges, but also to learn from one another.�

The money collected from the fund-raiser will help put Mendez through seven weeks at Fresno State while undergoing victim advocacy training. Dussich hopes Mendez will return to her home in Mexico and train others to help fight the systematic murder of women working in Juarez.

The current president of the organization, Ashley Fairburn, explained how the fund-raiser falls on International Women’s Day. Fairburn described it “a day to recognize the experiences and contributions of working women everywhere.�

Speakers will be at the event to promote awareness of the women being killed in Juarez, Mexico, Henry said.

According to a CNN article from 1999, nearly 200 young women had been murdered in and around Ciudad, Mexico.

“We can’t call this anything other than a ‘femicide.’ They are killing women with so much hatred,� Esther Chavez, a Juarez resident, said in the article.

Though $15 is asked from each attendee, Henry said no one will be turned away for a lack of funds.

The fund-raiser will place at 7 p.m. at the CAFE Infoshop, located at 935 F St. in Fresno.

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