SLO Women’s March will take to the streets once again — following year of #MeToo activism

Thousands gather in Mission Plaza for ‘Voices of Resistance Rally’

Women’s March San Luis Obispo held a “Voices of Resistance Rally” on Saturday, January 20, 2018, drawing thousands of people to Mission Plaza.
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Women’s March San Luis Obispo held a “Voices of Resistance Rally” on Saturday, January 20, 2018, drawing thousands of people to Mission Plaza.

Women’s March San Luis Obispo will take to the streets of San Luis Obispo for the third year in a row in January.

The local event, being held Jan. 19, will begin with a rally in Mitchell Park in San Luis Obispo featuring speakers, music and poetry , followed by a march through downtown San Luis Obispo. It’s one of more than 100 marches being held around the country and the world as part of the Women’s March movement.

The theme of the 2019 Women’s March event is “Truth to Power,” referring to a record-breaking year of women running for office and speaking out against perpetrators of sexual violence.

“From the women who spoke against Larry Nassar, to the journalists who have been under constant fire for reporting facts, to all the victims of violence and assault who spoke out during the “why I didn’t report” and “Me Too” movements, we know that there is nothing more important than to continue speaking our truth and hold those in authority accountable,” Andrea Chmelik, Women’s March San Luis Obispo communication director, said in a news release.

The first Women’s March in San Luis Obispo in 2017 drew a crowd between 7,000 and 10,000 people, leading to a local movement with members organizing around issues of equality and justice.

Women’s March San Luis Obispo has held dozens of events, ranging from large marches to smaller gatherings. A founder of the local organization, Dawn Addis, successfully ran for Morro Bay City Council in November 2018.

“Women are galvanized and more organized than ever, claiming their seat at the table, “Addis said in the news release. “The spark that ignited the movement in 2016 was explosive, but it is just as important to keep that fire burning and make sure we continue our work toward a more equitable future.”

The women who organized Women’s March San Luis Obispo on January 21, 2017, reflect their activism and prepare for their Hear Our Vote rally in 2018.

On Jan. 19, speeches will be given by Nicole Brydson, a conceptual artist, journalist and entrepreneur; Dr. Leola Dublin Macmillan, social justice educator and lecturer at Cal Poly; and Rita Casaverde, Peru-born local activist, women’s rights and environmental justice advocate.

Dian Sousa, an author, activist and 2008 San Luis Obispo poet laureate, will return with an original poem, organizers said.

Other performers include A. Rosalind Crew, Noach Tangeras, Rachel Santa Cruz, Leo Lauren Matthews, Samba Loca and Hot Tina.

More information can be found at womensmarchslo.com or on social media @WomensMarchSLO.

Thousands of people took part in the Women's March through downtown San Luis Obispo on Saturday, January 21, 2017. The march was intended to "send a powerful message" to the Trump administration and to stand up for women’s rights and civil rights,

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Monica Vaughan reports on Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo County, oil and wildlife at The Tribune. She previously covered crime and justice in the Sacramento Valley, is a graduate of the University of Oregon journalism school and is a sixth-generation Californian. Have an idea for a story? Email: mvaughan@thetribunenews.com