This year’s Pinwheel Project at TCU will host a child abuse symposium to raise even more awareness in the fight against this issue.
For three years, TCU has partnered with Alliance for Children for the Pinwheel Project, covering the campus with blue and white pinwheels to represent confirmed victims of child abuse.
“People don’t like to talk about child abuse,” said Lindsey Dula, director of program services at Alliance for Children. “But we wanted to do something that helps anybody to realize that child abuse exists and it exists in Tarrant County, and it’s something we need to deal with.”
The kick-off, which takes place April 7 in front of the Founders’ Statue by the library, will feature speakers such as Chancellor Victor Boschini. The lawn will be covered with 5,689 pinwheels to represent confirmed victims of child abuse last year in Tarrant County.
Dula said the pinwheels attract people because of the vibrant blue and have been adopted on a national level to represent child abuse victims.
“When you see a pinwheel, it reminds you of childhood,” Dula said. “It reminds me of carefree days, of just the happiness that should be associated with childhood. Unfortunately, that’s sometimes taken away from children when they’ve been abused.”
Alliance for Children has partnered with the Department of Social Work again this year, as well as new partnerships with the College of Education and the Institute of Child Development.
Chair of the Department of Social Work, David Jenkins, said he has been involved with this event since its first year. He said the symposium, which will feature several speakers and sessions on issues of child abuse, from child abduction to human trafficking, brings more attention to the issues related to child abuse.
“Child abuse is probably one of the more prominent issues or societal dilemmas we address,” Jenkins said. “We are highly concerned about vulnerable populations, and children being one of those vulnerable populations, child abuse and neglect is a primary concern of ours.”
The symposium events on April 7 and 8 are free, though registration is required, and will take place in the Brown Lupton University Union.
“I’m just really glad that TCU is supporting this event,” Jenkins said. “It really is a nice way to show how we’re connected to the community and making a difference, not only just within our walls, but trying to make a difference in the community.”