By COLLEEN MCCARTHY
Mississippi State University will host Take Back the Night with guest speaker Barbie Bassett at 6:30 p.m. in the Colvard Student Union’s Foster Ballroom.
Take Back the Night is an event that is celebrated all over the world to spread awareness about sexual assault and empower women. The organization hopes to educate the community about sexual violence and provide support for victims.
Bassett is a chief meteorologist for WLBT-TV in Jackson and a graduate of MSU’s broadcast meteorology program. She often speaks at events around the state on topics like faith and dealing with daily struggles.
“I had the opportunity to hear Ms. Bassett when I was at a sexual assault conference,” Beatrice Tatem, a counseling psychologist with the Department of Outreach and Sexual Assault Services said. “One thing that I observed was that she was able to connect to people in the audience, even though it was a diverse audience of both survivors and professionals, like myself. I immediately thought she would be great for the students, especially the women.”
Bassett will give an inspirational speech entitled “Pushing Past the Pain.”
“I’ve been asked to share how I was able to move past the hurt, guilt and shame of a molestation experience I had as a child,” Bassett said. “It is so easy to let our negative past determine our future, but it doesn’t have to be a detriment, if we follow one simple step, which I’ll talk about Tuesday night.”
The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend.
“It’s a chance to acknowledge the victims, celebrate the survivors, and provide an opportunity to move towards healing and empowerment,” Tatem said. “I think so often we associate violence with the evening. I think symbolically, it’s a way to speak out and stay strong and take back the night.”