Thursdays in Black


Thursday’s in Black is an international event. It began as a grassroots response to rape and violence against women in Argentina in early 1970’s. During that time in Argentina, women were being raped, murdered, and disappearing in alarming numbers. In, response local feminist organizers begin organizing “Thursday’s in Black” to raise awareness about the violence that women faced, and to put pressure on governmental officials to do more to stop the violence.

Since those beginnings, Thursday’s in Black has been taken up by communities in Bosnia, Israel, the Sudan, New Zealand and throughout Europe. It has more recently begun happening in the United States, mostly on college campuses. Indiana University students initiated the campaign on this campus for the first time in April 2004.

Thursday’s in Black is always locally organized. There is no international, national, or even state-wide effort to create or build on Thursday’s in Black. In this way local communities create their own Thursday’s in Black in a way that makes the most sense for them and which addresses the specific issues faced by their own community.

At IU, RAISE (Raising Awareness of Interactions in Sexual Encounters) is the student organization at the forefront of sexual assault awareness and prevention initiatives on campus. In addition to training volunteers as peer presenters for the “He Said, She Said” interactive workshop, RAISE also has a men’s program called “No Excuse” and looks for campus education and organizing opportunities around these issues. We believe that the solution to rape and violence against women lies within the culture of campus and the performance of masculinity.

RAISE works in partnership with Middleway House (the local women’s  shelter and rape crisis line) and other community-based groups. Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October) and Sexual Assault Awareness Month (April) are two key campaigns within this community-wide education and organizing effort. Thursday’s in Black is but one of the efforts that we organize during April.

RAISE and Middleway House invite you to participate in Thursday’s in Black in ways that make the most sense for you. We have developed this organizing packet to assist you in raising awareness about the issues, but there are plenty of other  things you can do. You can also contact us to find out about the other events and programs happening during April or October. You can invite one of our peer educators to come speak to your group, club, floor, house or class about the issues and/or about how you can be part of the solution. You can become a volunteer in RAISE yourself. You can  organize a vigil in your neighborhood in honor of the victims of sexual assault or domestic violence. You can organize an ongoing discussion group about the issues and explore how your community is affected (RAISE volunteers can also assist you in organizing this effort or providing speakers or facilitators).

Sexual Assault and domestic violence has an impact on all parts of our campus and community and every person can be part of the solution. Demand an end to Rape and Violence!!! Thank-you for taking a part and we look forward to working with you.

For More information, Contact:
Office of Women’s Affairs
Memorial Hall East