Southeast Missouri State University
For more information, contact:
Ann K. Hayes (573) 651-2552




CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., March 19, 2002 - The Rainbow Alliance proclaims April 10-12 as "Coming Out of Silence" week, as an observance of the National Day of Silence Project.

The National Day of Silence Project originally was organized by University of Virginia students to increase awareness of the effects of hate crimes on society and to honor those silenced by hate. Observers of the National Day of Silence will engage in deliberate silence on April 10 to bring awareness to the silence caused by harassment, discrimination, prejudice and violence. By bringing attention to the effects of hate using this symbolic silence, organizers hope to stress the importance of combating these social injustices.

Participants will take a vow of silence from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and wear pins explaining the purpose of remaining silent on that day. Those unable to remain silent show support by wearing black ribbons, arm bands or black clothing in honor of those victims who have been forever silenced by hate, such as murdered Laramie, Wyo., resident and university student, Matthew Sheppard.

The Rainbow Alliance also has arranged a candlelight vigil for the evening of April 10, as well as, an International Film Series April 11 and 12, to further mark the event.

On April 10, the candlelight vigil will be held at 8 p.m. in front of the Kala M. Stroup Fountain on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University. Participants will light candles symbolizing voices that no longer share in the harmony of humanity. Place cards recounting the stories and lives of some victims will be worn and read, including the stories of local hate crime murder victims from Cape Girardeau, Mo., and Carbondale, Ill.

April 11 and 12, the International Film Series will feature award-winning films highlighting the stories of individuals silenced by hatred. The Film Series will be shown at 7 p.m. each night in the University Center Indian Room at Southeast.

"Paragraph 175," a documentary telling of the "other" Holocaust, the fate of gay men and lesbians imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps, will be shown April 11. "Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train," a French celebration of new life blossoming from tragedy, will be shown April 12.

These events are sponsored by Southeast's Student Government and "What's On Weekends" (WOW).

All events are free and open to the community. Those attending are asked to bring to any of the events a donation of pet food to benefit "Pets Are Wonderful Support" (PAWS) of St. Louis, Mo. "PAWS: Helping People with AIDS," campaign helps keep pets with AIDS victims as long as possible.

For more information, e-mail: or visit their website at


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For more information contact the Director of the News Bureau, Ann Hayes, (573) 651-2552.