Student plans big climb to help women’s causes

April 12, 2013 3:15 PM

Sally Asher

Tulane geology student Batina Brockamp aspires to climb to new heights — 19,341 feet to be exact. Starting from a low point in Louisiana, Brockamp strives to bring awareness to women’s causes by ascending to the highest point in Africa — Mount Kilimanjaro. 

Students planning a fundraising climb.

Project Elevation organizers Batina Brockamp, right, and Krista Jankowski are raising funds for two women’s causes through a plan to climb Mount Kilamanjaro. (Photo by Sally Asher)

Frustrated by news of violence against women, Brockamp wanted to transform her feeling of helplessness into one of hopefulness. Inspired by her Gender and Sexuality class taught by Erica Dudas, Brockamp created Project Elevation, an organization that seeks to fight violence against women and demonstrate to all women their innate strength.

To lead by example, Brockamp (who has never hiked before) and seven other women from across the globe will climb Kilimanjaro this June. Brockamp aims to raise $20,000 to divide between two charities — Women with a Vision, a local group that works to improve the lives of marginalized women, and Give a Heart to Africa, an organization located in Moshi, Tanzania, that empowers women through education.

Jackie Hellen, a public health graduate student, delayed her graduation to participate in the hike. She serves as the women’s trainer and administrative organizer. Krista Jankowski, a doctoral student in earth and environmental sciences, is unable to make the hike because of academic commitments, but assists Brockamp in generating awareness and resources.

“It’s not just the hikers who are able to get their sense of accomplishment from Project Elevation. Passing out flyers, educating people and helping fundraising are all something of value,” Jankowski says.

“This is my community coming together,” Brockamp says about the artists, musicians, and businesses who have joined to help her reach her goal. “I want to challenge myself and others to help make an impact.”

Project Elevation’s fundraiser is on Tuesday (April 16) at Café Instanbul, 2372 St. Claude Ave., with food, a raffle and music by Missy Meatlocker, Meschiya Lake, Cristina Perez, Miss D'Lish, Miss Sophie Lee and others. There is a $5 suggested donation at the door.

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