Adventist Review Online | ‘Rise Up Against Abuse’ Rally Held at Andrews University

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The event drew a passionate and concerned response from hundreds.

he first-ever Rise Up Against Abuse Rally was held on the campus of Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, United States, March 7-10, 2019. Sponsored by the campus offices of University Wellness and Diversity and Inclusion, the rally was the official launch of the new Rise Up Against Abuse initiative, designed to help people use awareness, education, intervention, and prevention to take decisive actions against all forms of abuse. 

More than 225 people registered for the three-day rally, which featured numerous abuse survivors, advocates, and inspirational presenters.

  • Attendees at the opening reception for Clarissa Carbungco’s “Unredacted” photo exhibition in Harrigan Hall, Andrews University, on Thursday, March 7, 2019. The exhibition was part of the Rise Up Against Abuse Rally, held on the Andrews campus, March 7-10. [Photo: Jessica Condon]
  • The Rise Up Against Abuse Rally was held from March 7-10, 2019, on the campus of Andrews University. Lead organizers of the event were Dominique Gummelt, director for University Wellness, and Michael Nixon, vice president for Diversity and Inclusion. [Photo: Clarissa Carbungco]

The rally began Thursday, March 7, at University Forum in the Howard Performing Arts Center with contemporary Christian singer/songwriter Sarah Kelly. Kelly sang her well-known “Take Me Away” and shared part of her story as an abuse survivor, detailing how she had poured herself into her music as a way of trying to stay safe and away from her abusive pastor husband. “Just like Paul and Silas I was in my prison, and I was choosing to worship God. I stood in the center of all the abuse, and I chose to worship God,” she said.

Following Kelly’s poignant presentation and mini-concert, attendees were invited to visit the Solidarity Wall, a temporary wall erected outside of the Campus Center for people to write messages of empowerment and support. Those who walked past the wall were each given a letter and a chance to take a marker and add their own message of encouragement.

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