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,


As Philadelphia's Jesuit, Catholic University, founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University provides a rigorous, student-centered education rooted in the liberal arts. SJU ranks as a top university in the Northeast, with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter in the College of Arts and Sciences and AACSB accreditation of the  Erivan K. Haub School of Business. The University is also deeply committed to the Jesuit tradition of scholarship and service, earning a place on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and the community engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. With courses offered on campus and online, SJU prepares its more than 8,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students to lead lives of personal excellence, professional success and engaged citizenship.


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