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By Marene Gustin
It’s time to put on your walking shoes and join thousands of like-minded folks for the Houston Women’s March on Saturday, Jan. 20. And, no, you don’t have to be a woman to march.
“It’s the most positive experience,” says Sana Shahid, a 24-year-old activist. “The march is galvanizing women. The #MeToo movement wouldn’t have happened had women not marched last year. And this year, it’s even more important to keep that momentum going.”
Last year, women, men and children across the globe marched after the inauguration of President Donald Trump. In Houston 22,000 people showed up in support of equality, justice and diversity. This year, Shahid, the volunteer in charge of corporate sponsorship and outreach, says they are planning for 10,000 to 15,000 people.
“We have a better sound system for the rally. We’ll have Kam from the Suffers and DJ Gracie,” Shahid says. “The route is only three-tenths of a mile, but even if you can’t walk, you can join us for the rally at City Hall.”
An all-volunteer staff is putting on the march. Shahid says about 15 to 18 women met weekly to plan this year’s event.
“2018 is our year to make our voices and votes heard, to remake Congress, our state, and our region, choosing and electing women and men who will help people, rather than enrich themselves and their donors,” she adds.
Similar marches are planned for cities large and small across the country encouraging people to rise up, unite, march, and vote. Women, people of color and the LGBTQ community are at risk under the current administration.
The turnout of black women in the recent Alabama race that sent a Democrat to the Senate, along with the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, suggests that real change is coming. And Houston is part of it.
“Please join us and be the change we need,” Shahdid says. “Bring comfortable shoes and friends, and bring a sign to carry.” But she adds that no sticks on signs will be allowed.
What: Houston Women’s March 2018
When: 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 20
Where: Buffalo Bayou Waterworks Building, 105 Sabine Street. March begins at 10 a.m., followed by a rally at City Hall