Thousands to turnout for Women’s March Minnesota

Tens of thousands have signed up to take part in the Women’s March Minnesota on Saturday, Jan. 21 — one of 300 marches planned around the world by people committed to standing in solidarity with those who have felt marginalized by the rhetoric of the recent election.

More than 25,000 people have expressed plans to participate in the Minnesota event, which starts at 11 a.m. at St. Paul College and ends with a rally at the state Capitol at noon.

Speakers lined up for the rally include newly elected state Rep. Ilhan Omar, explorer Ann Bancroft, Clockwork Active Media CEO Nancy Lyons, state Sen. Patricia Torres Ray, Sara Stoesz of Planned Parenthood and Trista Matascatillo of Journey Home USA. Musicians Ann Reed and K. Raydio are the headlining entertainers.

In the nation’s Capitol, organizers are expecting around 150,000 for the Women’s March on D.C. The marches will take place one day after Donald Trump is sworn in as the nation’s 45th president.

Organizers of the Minnesota march started planning the event soon after the presidential election. Alicia Donahue, chair of the street team efforts for the march, said she went to bed the night of the election feeling defeated, but it soon subsided.

“I woke up the next day with this fire inside me that continues to burn,” she said.

Bethany Bradley, who handles public relations for the event, said she woke up “heartbroken” after Trump’s victory over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She had a hard time explaining to her three young children the outcome of the election, adding they call him Grump.

She said she was motivated to get involved in organizing the march as way to teach her children the importance of standing up for kindness and inclusiveness.

For Bradley, Donahue and the other key leaders of the event — Kate Redden and Jo Ann Tesar — planning for the march has become a full-time job. In addition to the core leadership team, 125 other volunteers have worked to make the Women’s March Minnesota a reality. The event has also attracted several sponsors and endorsements from organizations like the ACLU, Minnesota National Organization for Women and Planned Parenthood.

Bradley and Donahue said they hope people feel united, inspired and motivated by the march.

In a statement about the event, organizers wrote: “In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity and just who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers is too great to ignore. The Women’s March Minnesota will let the new administration know that women’s right are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.”

If You Go: Women’s March Minnesota

When: Saturday, Jan. 21 (march starts at 11 a.m. and rally at noon)
Where: March starts in Lot E of St. Paul College, 235 Marshall Ave., and ends with the rally at the state Capitol.
Get involved:  You can make a donation for the event on the website and also learn about how to volunteer as an event marshal.