Union members, friends of Labor kick up their heels to speak out against sexual violence

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TEAM UNION ONE’ members kick up their red high heels at the Walk a Mile in her Shoes event Aug. 21 at the Missouri Athletic Club. Taking part in the event were (left to right): United Media Guild Business Representative Shannon Duffy, Elevator Constructors Local 3’s Rick Brenner, Missouri State Rep. and member of Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562 Doug Beck, Laborers Local 110’s Mark Bielicke, Glaziers Local 513’s Brien Stiens, Heat & Frost Insulators Local 1 retiree and candidate for state rep Kevin FitzGerald, former Congressional candidate and friend of Labor Mark Osmack, and (in front) FitzGerald’s grandson Logan O’Hara. – Labor Tribune photo

By SHERI GASSAWAY

Correspondent

Proving that they were man enough to Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, a team of male union members and friends of Labor wearing red high heels stepped out in style Aug. 21 to take a stand against sexual violence.

The Metro St. Louis YWCA’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event is part of an international men’s march to speak out against rape, sexual assault and gender violence. Both men and women met up for the sixth annual fundraiser at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis before taking a walk around the block.

Walkers get friends and family to sponsor them, and money raised from the event helps fund YWCA services, including the Women’s Resource Center and YWCA’s Woman’s Place, both of which provide crisis intervention, counseling and other support to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.

‘UNION ONE’

Kevin FitzGerald, a Heat & Frost Insulators Local 1 retiree and a Democratic candidate for Missouri state representative in the 89th District, served on the planning committee for the event and organized a team called “Union One” representing Organized Labor.

FitzGerald wore his “Vote No on Prop A” t-shirt to the event as a way of thanking the community for standing with Labor to defeat “right-to-work” in Missouri. Voters rejected Prop A on Aug 7 by more than a two-to-one margin.

“We in Organized Labor stood and walked with women in solidarity today,” FitzGerald said. “The effort not only generated funds, but illuminated the YWCA’s Woman’s Place crisis center and hopefully, made more people aware of the valuable services of this facility so they can support it financially and physically.”

ABOUT THE YWCA

YWCA is the oldest and largest multicultural women’s organization in the world with more than 25 million members in 106 countries, including 2.6 million members and participants in some 250 local associations in the United States.

YWCA Metro St. Louis has served St. Louis women and their families for more than 110 years. Its mission is to eliminate racism and empower women by providing safe places for women and girls, building strong women leaders and advocating for women’s rights and civil rights in Congress.

For more information about the organization, visit ywcastl.org.

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