April 9 marked Aurora University’s second annual “A Day Without Shoes,” which is a day to spread global poverty awareness. Faculty and students took off their shoes and embraced the significance of the day. The day started off with a simulated dinner, called the “Interactive Hunger Banquet,” where 50 participants were divided and put into groups based on their income level. The Director of Student Leadership at the university expressed how this day allows participants to recognize global economic issues by experiencing them firsthand.
Global poverty affects almost half of the world’s population, and many cannot afford a pair of shoes, let alone afford basic needs. Not wearing some form of shoe may lead to “infection and soil-transmitted diseases that could easily have been prevented.”
In addition to being barefoot for the day, participants engaged in a “Make Your Own Shoes Workshop” where they learned how to construct “makeshift” shoes. The university also had a shoe drive that managed to successfully collect over 1,000 pairs which were then donated to local and international organizations.