University of Louisville groups will join together in a series of events to work toward achieving that goal Sept. 19-27.

“Week Without Violence,” started by YWCA, is an effort to encourage communities to think and act toward a world without violence.

UofL’s participation in the campaign came from several groups working on peace efforts – ranging from the annual “Take Back the Night,” to creation of a peace studies academic program, said Sharon LaRue, director of UofL’s PEACC program.

Groups that are participating in the worldwide campaign include PEACC, athletics, Department of Public Safety, the Interfaith Center, the Cultural Center, Office of Sustainability, LGBT Services, University of Louisville Properties and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

Joining efforts to put on the weeklong series of events was a natural way to bring together campus groups that are working on violence prevention and peace efforts, LaRue said, noting that social change comes from collaboration.

UofL’s “Week Without Violence” encompasses a number of events that the campus community is encouraged to attend, beginning Monday, Sept. 19. Here are a few of them:

  • Department of Public Safety cookout. The annual event allows students and employees to get to know campus police, learn about safety and enjoy some free food. Sept. 19, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., first floor, Floyd Street Parking Garage.
  • International Day of Peace. This celebration will include documentaries, guest speakers, student and campus groups representatives and special activities to recognize UofL’s effort to create a certificate program in peace, justice and conflict transformation. Sept. 21, all day in the Quad and in Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library. (More information)
  • World Car-Free Day. Many people are killed or injured each year on Louisville’s streets. People are encouraged to bike, walk or use public transit this day. There will also be a number of related activities across campus. Sponsored by the Office of Sustainability. Sept. 22.
  • Take Back the Night. The capstone event for the week, this rally raises awareness about interpersonal violence and will feature remarks by UofL President James Ramsey and Marta Miranda, president, Louisville Center for Women and Families. Sept. 27, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., Red Barn.  (Related story)

See a complete Week Without Violence schedule (PDF)

Students also have been working on other initiatives. In residence halls, they have adopted Week Without Violence events and have promoted the events to their peers. They’ve also decorated bulletin boards in their halls.

LaRue said she’s been impressed at the students’ interest in the project and that she hopes that, by many of the campus groups and students coming together, they can create a better UofL.

“We want to create a campus that’s safe for everyone,” LaRue said. “We want students to say ‘This is the type of university I want to be at’.”