Resist, persist and rise. These three words are spearheading this year’s message of hope for the Women’s March on Philadelphia.
Organizers of the march already expect to see more than 45,000 people flood the city for the Jan. 20 event.
“This year we really want to push the everyday woman,” said Deja Lynn Alvarez, a march co-organizer and trans activist.
“This is the woman working every day and raising her children, the stay-at-home mom, the career woman who doesn’t have children, the woman who managed to come from poverty and is now a CEO of a company. We want to push the people who are laying the ground work and cover everyone’s story, not just people who are famous,” Alvarez said.
The march, hosted by Philly Women Rally, Inc., was initiated last January in tandem with the Women’s March on Washington the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Women and allies flocked to the city streets to raise their voices in unity, showing support for women and individuals who felt silenced.
“When you’re talking about the women’s movement, inclusivity does, in fact, include everyone — it doesn’t matter your gender identity, sexual orientation, immigration status or religion. If we can agree to all come together, self-identified or born, we are part of it,” Alvarez said.
“We want everybody to pretend they see themselves on that stage speaking,” Alvarez said, adding the march is inclusive of trans women.
“Everyone has different circumstances. It’s time to walk in your truth. That’s going to be difficult for some. The more of us that are able to do it or be in a position to do it, brings more attention and opens the door for another,” Alvarez said.
The local march was created and organized for the first time by Emily Cooper Morse, who wanted to take a stand against anyone working to divide and stifle diversity.
“We persist. We will continue to speak and remind everyone to use their voice. We march, rally and organize in communities to call out people who intimidate. We work to get the vote and make a change,” Morse said.
The event will begin at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 20 at Aviator Park, Logan Square. The march will wind to Eakins Oval, where the rally, speakers and performers will take the stage at noon.
“Persistence is all the things we did throughout the year, whether it was five calls a day to our representatives or different things we can push throughout the year,” Morse said.
She added the marcher will “rise” for the second year in solidarity to hold elected officials responsible, fight for women’s rights and continue to be fearless.
“We feel there’s more diversity this year than last year, which has been great because we can reach out to other communities. We wanted to do something a little bit different than last year. More than anything, creating specific reasons for marching, gathering and rallying,” Morse said.
For Alvarez, the march is an opportunity to open a dialogue.
“I want to invite those who have criticism or doubt to reach out to any organizer. We are all readily accessible on social media. Reach out to us, send a message, and let’s have a conversation about it so we can hear the criticism,” Alvarez said.
For more information on the march or to volunteer, visit the Women’s March on Philadelphia 2018 Facebook page.