On Wednesday, April 28, the campus is invited to wear jeans for a purpose.

A global event, Denim Day has become a means to raise awareness of rape and sexual assault, says Laura Gullett, coordinator of the Green Dot program at Missouri Southern.

“It says that the clothes we wear don’t matter,” she says.

The campaign began more than 20 years ago after the Italian Supreme Court overturned a rape conviction because the victim was wearing tight jeans – the thinking being that she would have had to help her rapist remove the jeans, implying consent. Women in the Italian Parliament came to work the next day wearing jeans in a show of solidarity. Denim Day has become an annual way to bring awareness to victim-blaming and myths around sexual violence.

Traditionally, the jeans are paired with the color teal, says Gullett.

“This will be our first Denim Day here on campus,” she says. “We brought the idea to the President’s Council and they approved it. Hopefully, it will be an annual event.”