Men throughout Fairfield County have been putting their most empathetic foot forward by slipping on a pair of towering red stilettos in support of The Center of Family Justice’s annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event on April 30 in downtown Fairfield.

The red shoe photography campaign was organized by The Center in collaboration with Leadership Greater Bridgeport. It is a way to demonstrate the willingness of male community leaders to support The Center’s mission of building a men’s movement to stop sexual assault and domestic violence by literally stepping into a woman’s pair of heels.

“Our red shoes campaign has been a lighthearted way to encourage men to pay attention to a serious issue,” said Debra A. Greenwood, president and CEO of The Center. “We are grateful to the many community and business leaders willing to step out of their comfort zones and into these tall, uncomfortable heels as a way of demonstrating their support for our Walk a Mile event.”

Among the men who participated in The Center’s recent red shoes photo shoots are Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara, returning for his fourth year as official chairperson of the Walk a Mile event.

Chief MacNamara was joined by participants including Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim; Bridgeport Emergency Communications Consultant Joseph Gaudett Jr.; Easton Police Chief Timothy Shaw; Fairfield University Public Safety Director Todd Pelazza; Monroe First Selectman Steve Vavrek; Monroe Police Chief John Salvatore; Stratford Police Chief Patrick Ridenhour and Trumbull Police Chief Michael Lombardo.

Also trying on the red heels were business and community leaders including Bruce Sliverstone, vice president of corporate communications for Aqaurion Water; Robert Hojancki, director of municipal and nonprofit sectors for Patriot National Bank; Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s Director Gregg Dancho; Sacred Heart University President Dr. John Petillo and Raymond G. Baldwin Jr., President and CEO of St. Vincent’s Special Needs. Other participants included SHU’s Head Football Coach Mark Nofri; SHU Vice President of Marketing and Communications Michael Iannazzi; Dr. Thomas Pellegrino, vice president of student affairs at Fairfield University and members of the executive committee of the Pullman & Comley law firm.

They were joined by participants including: Members of the Easton and Stratford fire departments; Fairfield Police Department; Easton Community Center administrative staff; Fairfield University students and employees of Stratford-based Bismark Construction.

The Walk a Mile event is sponsored by the Center’s White Ribbon Committee, which recently concluded 24 hours of strategic planning on engaging men as partners in combating the issues of sexual and domestic violence. “Although these are often perceived as women’s issues, we believe it is imperative to partner with men and boys to break the cycles of abuse and violence,” Greenwood noted.

When and where

The Center for Family Justice’s fourth annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event is free and open to the public.  

Registration begins on April 30 at 8:30 a.m. at 1720 Post Road (near Starbucks) in Fairfield.

A walk through downtown Fairfield begins promptly at 9:00 a.m. at Post Road, concluding at Fairfield’s Old Town Hall.  

The event is rain or shine. The Center encourages its supporters to form teams to raise funds for its services and programs.

To start a team or support the walk, please contact Marissa Donnelly at MDonnelly@CenterforFamilyJustice.org or at 334-6154 ext. 121.

Online registration takes place at our web site, CenterforFamilyJustice.org