Saint Joseph’s University Raises Awareness of Violence

Vigils honor homicide victims, victims of sexual abuse

Thursday, April 3, 2014

PHILADELPHIA (April 4, 2014) — Saint Joseph’s will host two vigils this month aimed at increasing violence awareness. The Richard Johnson Center for Anti-Violence will host a candlelight vigil to honor the 247 homicide victims in Philadelphia over the last year, on Tuesday, April 8, at 7 p.m., in the Chapel of St. Joseph-Michael J. Smith, S.J. Memorial.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter will offer remarks and remembrances. Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor of Public Safety Everett Gillison, and Philadelphia Managing Director Richard Negrin, will join the mayor. Elizabeth A. Linehan, RSM, professor of philosophy, will preside over the non-denominational service. Family members and friends are expected to attend as candles are lit for each of the 247 victims.

On Wednesday, April 9, at 7 p.m., in Chapel of St. Joseph-Michael J. Smith, S.J. Memorial, the campus community will gather for the 13th annual Take Back the Night Vigil. The event is organized and hosted by SJU’s award-winning REPP (Rape Education and Prevention Program) group, and calls attention to sexual and physical violence against women.

Melissa Lucchesi, executive director of Voices, a non-profit developed to enhance victim services and support and to create new ways for survivors to connect and heal, will present the keynote lecture. Alison Kiss Dougherty from Security on Campus, a non-profit organization whose mission is to prevent violence, substance abuse and other crimes in college and university campus communities across the United States, will also speak.

Attendees are encouraged to share their personal experiences during the speak-out portion of the night. 

Media Contact

Kelly Welsh, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications, College of Arts and Sciences, 610-660-1385,


Founded in 1851 in the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence, Saint Joseph’s University is a top-ranked Catholic University that provides a rigorous, student-centered education. With a total enrollment of 8,500 undergraduate and graduate students, SJU offers a wide-array of academic programs designed so that each graduate enters the world with a competitive resume and global perspective. This is achieved through intense academic study led by thought-leading faculty scholars, a comprehensive campus experience and robust study abroad, service-learning, internship and co-op programs. Upon graduation, nearly 100 percent of students are employed, pursuing advanced degrees or volunteering in prestigious service programs. A member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, SJU offers 20 Division I intercollegiate men’s and women’s sports. SJU alumni – over 60,000 strong - provide a powerful network that spans the globe.

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