Inspired by and in concert with the Women’s March on Washington, the Women’s March on Phoenix was held on Saturday, January 21st, 2017, from 10 am to 2 pm in downtown Phoenix. The Women’s March on Phoenix was a march in solidarity with our sister-marchers across the country and the world; there were more than 170 Sister Marches in the US and abroad. The Phoenix march and rally began and ended on the Senate lawn at the Arizona State Capitol; the route was entirely wheelchair accessible. A rally with exciting and diverse speakers, performers, and music, as well as food trucks and tables representing social justice and advocacy organizations. The Women’s March on Phoenix were people of all gender, families of all kinds, and people with disabilities. Our very own Maricopa County Branch NAACP President, Dr. Ann Hart, was one of the speakers for this event and she made us proud.
Our march was a celebratory recognition and realization of the strength and power of our diverse community. We marched to advocate for the fundamental equality, dignity, and civil liberties of all people, regardless of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, immigration status, disability, and for all marginalized and oppressed peoples.
We joined the Women’s March on Washington in their assertion that,
In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. The Women’s March on Washington sent a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.
The local organizers of the Phoenix rally, who met on the internet and began organizing on 12/21, were inspired by the democratic potential and energy that has emerged following the 2016 election. They are optimistic about the power in the diversity of our community and look forward to working in solidarity with progressive organizations around the state. More than 20,000 people marched.
Phoenix March Organizer Juana Martinez-Neal is a children’s author and illustrator who has been compelled after election to take her first steps into politics and organizing. She notes that because immigrants sometimes feel marginalized and powerless, they don’t get involved in local and state politics. She says,
I hope that if I, a Latina born in another country with an accent, gets involved, other Latinos and immigrants will be encouraged to participate as well. We can no longer sit and let other people make decisions that affect our lives and those of our families. It is critical that immigrant interests and needs are represented and included in political life. We can achieve that by standing up and actively participating at local and state levels.
Eva Burch, a Phoenix march organizer, ER nurse, mom, activist, and student says,
I think that so many of us want to be involved in the political process and in progressive movements here in Arizona, but don’t know where to begin or how to get involved. I saw this as an opportunity not only to be a part of something meaningful, but to enable others to find their own voices and their own initiatives to promote equal rights here in Arizona, a state that truly needs us to take a stand.