T-shirts tell truth in MTSU’s Clothesline Project...

T-shirts tell truth in MTSU’s Clothesline Project

Messages of hope, healing and awareness will wave in the breeze as MTSU’s June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students presents The Clothesline Project April 9 and 10 on the Keathley University Center knoll.

The MTSU community can view The Clothesline Project, a display of t-shirt art, on the KUC Knoll April 9-10 to promote awareness and prevention of violence against women. (MTSU file photo by J. Intintoli)

The annual visual display, set from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, bears witness to violence against women with T-shirts emblazoned with the words of a survivor or someone who cares about her. It is always free and open to the public.

“This year, students were asked to donate shirts of their own on which to print messages of survival, empowerment and advocacy,” says Anne Fraley, JAC interim director. “We felt that by writing on our own shirts, the message that violence could happen to any of us was brought home quite powerfully.

“These aren’t anonymous messages but voices from our community. That makes this personal.”

Since its inception in Hyannis, Mass., in 1990, The Clothesline Project has sought to:

  • bear witness to the survivors and victims of the war against women;
  • help with the healing process for people who have lost a loved one to or who are survivors of violence;
  • educate, document and raise society’s awareness of the extent of the problem of violence against women; and
  • provide a nationwide network of support, encouragement and information for other communities starting their own Clothesline Projects.

According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, U.S. women experience about 4.8 million physical assaults and rapes by their intimate partners every year. The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics states that women ages 20-24 are at greatest risk of nonfatal domestic violence.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that the cost of domestic violence in 2003 was more than $8.3 billion in medical care, mental-health services and lost productivity.

For more information, contact the June Anderson Center at 615-898-5989 or

— Gina K. Logue (