Kansas women will have a chance to demonstrate in solidarity with others around the world later this month at the third annual Women’s March.
Wichita organizers say they have made getting Black women involved a priority.
“We have been deserted in the past, and this time we wanted to put Black women’s issues front and center,” planning committee member Mary Dean said.
The event will run 1 to 3 p.m. Sat., Jan. 19 downtown, and is sponsored by the Women’s March-Air Capital and the League of Women Voters-Wichita Metro.
Speakers will include Dr. Michelle Vann, local NAACP board member LaWanda DeShazer, mural artist Kamela Eaton, Wichita State University Muslim Association President Amena Elamin, Helena Popejoy, Renee Duxler, Teresa Rupp, Luisa Taylor, Guadalupe Magdaleno, Katie Knutter, and Theresa Doan.
Dean says Hispanic, Asian, Indian, Native American and LGBTQ women will be involved.
It coincides with Women’s March events in many other cities and countries. The main Women’s March will take place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Kansas City will also host a march. Although initially set to go from Brookside Park to Swope Park, due to weather, the march has been moved and shortened. Marchers will meet at 2 p.m. Jan. 19 at Unity Temple on the Plaza, walk via 47th Street to JC Nichols Fountain and back to Unity Temple, where they will rally indoors.
The Wichita march has also had changes. Previously set to go from the Keeper of the Plains to City Hall, it will now start at 1 p.m. at City Hall and marchers will proceed to The Wave event center (650 E. 2nd St.) and rally indoors.
There will be speakers, live music, networking with organizations, voter registration and more. Signs and banners are welcome.
“We want to enhance the leadership role of women and to support the ongoing work and collaboration with other organizations in focusing on women’s issues such as equal pay, domestic violence, immigration, foster care, sexual assault, racial profiling, police brutality, and reproductive and mental health,” Women’s March-Air Capital founder Brandi Calvert said in a statement.
Dean says Wichita has historically been an agent of social change, with events such as the 1958 Dockum Drugstore Sit-In contributing to the Civil Rights movement.
“We want to be agents of change,” Dean said. “Unless we come together, we can’t do it.”
Several thousand women have attended the past marches.