By Chip Chandler

A rape survivor and international activist will headline West Texas A&M University’s Week of the Woman activities.

Brittany Piper—co-founder of On the Mend, a women’s holistic healing retreat which supports survivors of trauma—will speak at 6 p.m. March 8 in Legacy Hall inside the Jack B. Kelley Student Center on the Canyon campus.

Piper is a leading national expert on sexual violence prevention and recovery whose work has been recognized by The U.S. Army, The Clinton Foundation and more.

"The idea that we can all turn pain into purpose and seek joy and compassion over bitterness and self-pity is valuable to so many of us,” said Angela Knapp Eggers, senior director of the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. “We are delighted to partner with WT to invest in improving the lives of women and girls in Texas and across the nation.”

Piper’s speech is co-sponsored by WT Health and Wellness Promotion and the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health and is one of a number of WT initiatives promoting women’s health and well-being throughout the first full week of March.

“We are excited to work with several different departments on campus, student organizations, Family Support Services and the Laura Bush Institute on bringing something new and exciting to WT this spring semester,” said Darcy Webber, coordinator of WT Health and Wellness Promotion. “I think it’s so important to bring awareness of sexual assault to college students so we can help them become more conscious of risks as well as realize they can make a difference in each other’s lives by standing up and doing what is right.”

The week’s activities will kick off with the Knights Against Sexual Assault Walk and Resource Fair from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. March 7 along 26th Street in front of the University Dining Hall.

Omega Delta Phi members will walk a mile in high heels to pay tribute to women who have lost their lives due to sexual abuse and to “bring awareness to what women experience daily,” said Frank Navarrete, chapter adviser.

The resource fair will feature informational booths from several campus and external organizations and food trucks. The event is co-sponsored by Family Support Services of Amarillo.

The week also will include “Women at the REC” from 7 to 9 p.m. March 9 at the Virgil Henson Activities Center, offering mocktails, free personal trainers, pool access and rock-wall climbing, and a lunch and learn session at noon March 10 in the JBK Hazel Kelley Wilson Room with Ruth DeAnda, WT social work instructor, discussing the importance of women in higher education.