A class assignment brought a new advocacy project to the UofL campus on Sunday, April 17, and raised well over its projected goal in the process.

Lori Hibbs and Sara Williams, who will both graduate in May with a Master’s degree in Social Work and a specialization in Mental Health, organized UofL’s first Out of the Darkness Community Walk. Versions of this walk were held on campuses around the country this spring to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The organization uses the funds raised from the walks for research as well as suicide prevention programs.

Nearly 100 people participated in the inaugural walk, raising well over their $2,000 goal — $6,241 to be exact. The group started in the Humanities Quad and made their way around campus.

Hibbs and Williams are both passionate about suicide prevention, so they decided to plan the walk on campus and make that their project together.

“It was really great seeing everyone come together in such a short amount of time to raise funds and recruit people for the walk,” Hibbs and Williams said in a joint statement via email. “To see the level of commitment everyone had is really inspiring.”

Several campus groups participated in the walk, including Kent School of Social Work, Delta Zeta Sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, the LGBT Center and Sigma Phi Epsilon.

Tracie Meyer, coordinator in Office of the Dean of Students, attended the event to highlight the new CardSPEAK program, which provides online suicide prevention training. CardSPEAK will offer two trainings for faculty, staff and students: Kognito, an online training course, and QPR in-person trainings. For more information or to schedule a training, contact Meyer at tracie.meyer@louisville.edu.