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Saints Wear Denim to Support Sexual Assault Awareness

Jim Norman

The Canterbury community came together for an important cause this week, wearing jeans and other denim clothing to recognize National Denim Day in support of Sexual Assault Awareness. 

The campus-wide initiative was spearheaded by Women of Canterbury and its Co-Presidents Giovanna “Gigi” Esposito ’22 and Kathryn “Kaly” Naughton ’22. They showed a video and talked about the significance of the day at School Meeting, then handed out pins and had students, faculty, and staff sign jeans in solidarity. All were encouraged to wear their pins, denim, and anything teal—the official color of sexual violence prevention—as well as make donations to The Center for Empowerment and Education in Danbury.

As always, our Saints came through with flying colors! Denim and pins could be seen everywhere on the hilltop. The outpouring of support was overwhelming for Gigi and Kaly. “One of our main priorities was getting the majority of the School involved, so we are very happy,” said Gigi. According to Kaly, there was so much involvement that they ran into a pin supply issue. “We got so many pins out to the community that we had to make more today. We were completely out!”

They both credited Head of School Rachel Stone P ’23, ’24 and Director of Health Services Colleen Cook, R.N. ’02 with providing valuable guidance and ideas throughout the planning. “We ran everything by them, and they gave us feedback,” said Kaly. “Mrs. Stone was the one who suggested that we do a video Monday instead of a presentation to really get people engaged.” Added Gigi: “And Miss Cook helped us find good resources and places to go for more information.”

Denim Day was first introduced in 1999 after an Italian court granted the appeal of a rapist and overturned his sentence because his victim wore tight jeans. This sparked worldwide protests, and Italian women showed up to work wearing denim jeans and other such clothing. That gesture grew to become a global phenomenon observed each year in April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

And, Gigi urges, that awareness is so critical. “This is something that affects so many,” she shared. “People have come up to me and said, ‘How can we help?’ It was really nice to see everyone rally together and show that we care.”