What began as a conversation about a person’s purple hair became a unique idea to fight one of the most problematic issues facing college campuses today — relationship violence.
“We just jokingly got on the topic of hair, but then someone said, ‘what if we dyed everyone’s hair on-campus?’” said Alli Whitenack, co-chair of the organization Carolina Advocating for Gender Equity. “We all loved the idea since purple is the color of the month, so it all kind of developed from there.”
The event in question, entitled “Paint it Purple for RVAM!,” looked to raise donations as part of Relationship Violence Awareness Month. It was held by the Carolina Feminist Coalition, a group comprised of multiple UNC organizations including CAGE and Feminist Students United. Students lined up to have CFC members dye their hair and paint their nails and face using semi-permanent purple dye with the option of donating money to the cause.
Emily Hagstrom, another co-chair at CAGE who worked the event, said their goal was to raise student awareness of both relationship violence and what that it fully means.
“We want people to know that relationship violence extends not only to what we think of as being domestic relationships but also within our campus community,” Hagstrom said. “We’re really just trying to build community support around the issue and make people realize that it does happen on campus so we can get together and be proactive to stop it.”