Campus Life

Gender Equity Center to 'light up' University Park for Purple Thursday

The Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity was lit up for Purple Thursday in 2020.  Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — October is nationally recognized Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is marked annually by various programs, workshops and events to educate the Penn State community and raise awareness.

On Oct. 21 the University will participate in Purple Thursday by asking community members to wear purple and lighting up various spaces on campus.

The participatory action campaign known as Purple Thursday raises awareness about intimate partner violence and domestic violence by highlighting support for survivors and the efforts that have been made to reduce the stigma, advocate for survivors, and work for greater safety and equity for victim survivors. Purple is the recognized awareness color for domestic violence.

To participate in Purple Thursday, the Gender Equity Center is asking community members to take a picture of themselves in purple on Oct. 21 and share the picture on social media tagging @pennstategeneq, using the hashtag #PurpleThursday2021, and telling followers why they support survivors. If individuals do not have social media, pictures can be emailed to and will be shared on the Gender Equity page. Participants will be entered to win a Gender Equity Center swag bag, complete with a T-shirt, consent pop socket and much more.

Last year, the University partnered with Centre Safe to promote its Shine a Light campaign, promoting purple lighting across campus. This year, the Gender Equity Center decided to expand the purple lighting to different spaces on campus.

“Given the success of last year’s campaign, we wanted to continue the event and look at ways to expand and grow the involvement with this initiative for all Penn State community members,” said Becca Geiger, assistant director, Gender Equity Center. “We loved working with colleagues across campus to think through ways to not just light their spaces purple but illuminate the campus community on the issue and share resources available for anyone looking for assistance.”

Below are the spaces and partners going purple:

  • The Bryce Jordan Center will display Purple Thursday marketing on its digital board outside the center all day.
  • The Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity will display a purple light on its windows facing the HUB lawn in the evening.
  • The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, in partnership with the Women in Earth and Mineral Sciences student group, will light the Edward Steidle rotunda and atrium along with the Ryan Family Student Center, Fletcher L. Byrom Earth and Mineral Sciences Library, and other spaces throughout the college with various purple lighting throughout the day.
  • The College of Communications will be lighting the front-facing windows of Carnegie Building facing Pollock Road in the evening.
  • The Gender Equity Center will have purple lights shining in its window on the second floor of Boucke Building facing Ritenour Building throughout the day.

Penn State and community partners have been working throughout the month to raise awareness around domestic violence and to provide opportunities for the Penn State community to engage in prevention efforts and show support for survivors through a variety of different programs and engagements.

Follow the Gender Equity Center on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using @PennStateGenEq to stay up to date or visit the center online at Join the Gender Equity Center listserv by emailing

Last Updated October 18, 2021