By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
TULSA, OK -. On Saturday, January 20, hundreds are expected to gather for the Women’s March on Tulsa. The event’s mission is to “garner positive change and sustained engagement in women’s rights, human rights, social and environmental justice, worker’s rights and health care for all.”
Voter registration prior of the 2018 election cycle will be encouraged during theevent to increase citizen engagement and activism.
The Tulsa Women’s March will begin at 1 p.m. with a rally at Guthrie Green, 111 East M.B. Brady Street, followed by a march in the downtown Tulsa Arts District. The march will end at Living Arts of Tulsa, 307 E. Mathew B. Brady St. where an indoor fair will feature non-profit groups and progressive grassroots organizations. March participants will have the opportunity to engage with and learn from organizational members about how to become more involved in social justice causes.
“Our goal is to do more than march on Jan. 20,” said Nancy Moran, a nurse and co-organizer. “For us, it was important that ‘march’ stood for something. It means ‘meaningful action’ really can help. That’s why we’re bringing more than two dozen progressive groups together, so women can learn exactly how they can become involved in the causes they care about and bring about positive changes in their communities.”
Moran is also an activist for Tulsa Ready for 100, an organization promoting clean, renewable energy for Tulsa.
Other participating groups include Indivisible Tulsa, Indivisible Oklahoma, Tulsa Young Democrats, Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, Tulsa League of Women Voters, We the People Oklahoma, Moms Demand Action, Dream Act Oklahoma, Oklahomans for Cannabis, and Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice.
Co-organizer, The Rev. Carmen White Janak will speak during the event. Describing herself as an African-American activist, preacher-woman, and certified Intercultural assessor, White Janak believes “women raising their voices in righteous indignation, speaking for or against issues that affect their communities, is not only holy but right.
“This gathering of strong women, strong voices and strong minds isn’t about negativity or dwelling on the forces that try and keep us down. It’s about lifting us up, together,” White Janak said. “When you dare greatly to brave opposition, resist the systems that work against us and refuse to remain silent, change isn’t just possible, it’s inevitable. We saw that happen in Alabama recently when voters said ‘No. enough is enough.’ We want to inspire women to be brave and be the change they want to see.”
Additional speakers will represent various races, ages, sexual orientations and gender identities. Moran and other organizers say the intent of the march is to show that when women stand united and strong in their voices, challenge stereotypes and break the cycle of complacency, their collective power at the polls will have the effect of a tidal wave on local, state and national policy and laws.
“Right now, there are women who are busy with their lives and don’t know how to get involved,” Moran said. “They’re raising kids, they’re working two jobs, they’re busy and it’s hard to become engaged. But we know we care about the same things.
“We know women care about raising the next generation in a world with clean air and water; they want their kids to get a good education in a safe environment and want them to be accepted for who they are,” Moran added. “They want economic opportunities for themselves, for their children and their families, and if for some reason they fall on hard times, a trip to the emergency room shouldn’t bankrupt them. That’s why we’re hosting this march and rally. We can build that world if we all work together toward a common goal.”
A shorter march route will be available and handicapped parking can be found at Living Arts Tulsa, 307 E Mathew B. Brady St. Signs are encouraged.
Participants are asked to bring a small item to donate to Taking it to the Streets, a charitable organization that serves needy and homeless families in Tulsa, such as school supplies, toiletries, socks, blankets, new shoes, or canned goods.
To register or to learn more about the Women’s March on Tulsa, visit the event Facebook page and click on the events tab.
Organized by an all-volunteer, all woman planning group, the Women’s March on Tulsa will be held one year from the Women’s March of 2017 in Washington D.C. For more information, visit WomensMarch.com.