Westfield State students launch campaign to raise awareness and funds for Alianza in Holyoke

Apr 26, 2021
The campus green, with Courtney Hall, as seen from the Ely Campus Center

Westfield State University’s Advanced Public Relations students are launching a social media campaign, Be A Hero, to raise support for Alianza (formerly Womanshelter Compañeras) of Holyoke, and to bring awareness of the signs of domestic violence and abuse. This campaign, which runs April 26-28, will also raise money for Alizana’s 24-hour emergency crisis hotline.

Founded in 1980 as a grassroots collective, the organization has sheltered more than 3,000 women and children and helped 35,000 others through community-based support programs. According to Alianza, domestic violence is a pattern of coercive behaviors that involves physical abuse or the threat of physical abuse. It may also include psychological abuse, sexual assault, isolation, intimidation, or economic and/or medical deprivation. Their emergency crisis hotline number is 1-877-536-1628.

The Instagram and Facebook campaign will use the trending hashtag #BeAHeroMVMT. Participants will take a pledge to educate themselves about domestic and intimate partner abuse. In addition, an online raffle will feature prizes such as a Yeti cooler, Air Pods, and much more.

“This Communication Department class partners with a local non-profit each semester in an effort to help the community through its civic engagement program,” stated Westfield State Adjunct Professor of Communication Suzanne Boniface. “These public relations students use the skills they have acquired from their studies and gain experience for their future careers,” she added.

If you have questions or want to learn more about the campaign, please email Prof. Boniface at sboniface@westfield.ma.edu. For more information about Alianza and its services, please contact Pamela Barnes at pbarnes@AlianzaDV.org.