Take Back the Night is a DeCal course open to the general public in which we will analyze the various ways in which violences (particularly rape, sexual assault, and relationship/domestic violence) are produced in varying contexts. We will explore the ways racism, heterosexism, ableism, sexism, etc. consolidate to constitute violences.
The organization Take Back the Night is named after an annual march/rally that began in 1970 in San Francisco to speak out against rape and other forms of violence against women. Traditionally, nighttime has been a time of violence, fear, and danger in women’s lives. The objective of the annual rally sought to free women from this fear and danger be reclaiming their right to exist in public spaces, at nighttime without fear of violence. Today, the UCB chapter of TBTN has extended its concerns to individuals of all genders: men, genderqueer, intersex, women, transgender, etc. We understand that these acts of violence and abuse occur within all communities, races, ages, socioeconomic classes, and religions. Furthermore, these acts of violence do not only occur at night, but in a variety of settings, both domestic and public.
The UCB chapter of TBTN organizes the well-renowned annual march and ally held in the spring. For the rally, we invite speakers, have an open mike for speaking out, march around the city of Berkeley, and hold a candlelight vigil. As powerful as this rally is, it is not enough to properly educate students, faculty, staff, other community members, and ourselves about the complex issues impacting sexual violence. Therefore, throughout the year, we hold a de-cal class where students learn about the factors causing sexual violence and methods of prevention and protection. The class provides the opportunity to make a much- needed difference in the community, while also focusing extensively on personal education and empowerment.
TBTN here on campus is both a DeCal class and an activist organization, and you can decide how you want to participate. Anyone from the community can enroll in the course (you don’t have to be a UCB student). Students in the class receive units for their participation and are graded on attendance and completion of class assignments. Organization members do not receive course units and volunteer their time and energy to help put on the events that all TBTN members work on.