“When a woman tells the truth, she is creating the possibility for more truth around her.”
– Adrienne Rich
For the third consecutive year, organizers and supporters of Women’s March SLO will lead locals in as they march in solidarity with millions of women, men, and their allies across the nation. With a theme of Truth to Power, the local event will start at 9 a.m. with a rally in Mitchell Park, located at 1400 Osos St. in SLO, followed by a march through downtown San Luis Obispo beginning at 10 a.m.
“This past year, we have witnessed many people stepping forward with their truth,” said Women’s March SLO Co-Organizer Andrea Chmelik. “Whether it was concerning a relationship, workplace, nationality, or gender, it took a lot of courage to step forward with that truth. The theme this year — Truth to Power — shows the power behind what can happen when someone has the courage to speak up.”
The local rally and march is a way for people to show up, experience a mutual sense of solidarity, participate in democracy, and walk away feeling inspired and encouraged. The focus is to help ensure a positive and just future for everyone — women, men, and children.
“We connect with a lot of women,” said Chmelik, “but men are equally present at our events. Especially this past year, I think more men can relate to issues regarding power plays and other situations women have endured. They realize just how much women have had to put up with and how traumatic it can be.”
Speakers for the event include Nicole Brydson, conceptual artist, journalist, entrepreneur, and founder of Misfit Media; Dr. Leola Dublin Macmillan, social justice educator and lecturer at Cal Poly, and Rita Casaverde, Peru-born local activist, women and environmental advocate, and software product manager. Dian Sousa, a poet, activist and the 2008 SLO Poet Laureate, will recite an original poem.
The WMSLO, a sister march to the Women’s March on Washington, is organized by Chmelik, Jen Ford, Dawn Addis, Terry Parry, and Pat Harris. Run solely by volunteers, WMSLO receives no funding from Women’s March National, and relies on donations to cover various costs and to ensure safety and accessibility to all. Any excess funds go towards future advocacy and programming associated with WMSLO; since its inception, WMSLO has organized over 20 events and participated in dozens more.
The event is free; please register at womensmarchslo.com/truth-to-power for planning purposes. For more information, including ways to help, donating to the cause, and the latest updates follow Women’s March SLO on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.