Wi­chita women plan to march again on Jan. 19

The Wichita Eagle (Sunday) - - News - BY SUZANNE PEREZ TO­BIAS

Two years af­ter Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s in­au­gu­ra­tion prompted ac­tivists across the globe to march for women’s rights, women once again are plan­ning to march in down­town Wi­chita.

The third an­nual Wi­chita Women’s March, cospon­sored by the Women’s March Air Cap­i­tal and the League of Women Vot­ers, will co­in­cide with other marches na­tion­wide on Jan. 19.

The Wi­chita march will start at the Keeper of the Plains at 1 p.m. and move down Cen­tral Av­enue to­ward City Hall, where a rally is planned with speak­ers, live mu­sic, voter reg­is­tra­tion ac­tiv­i­ties and more.

“We’re bring­ing ev­ery­thing to the ta­ble this year,” said Brandi Calvert, founder of Women’s March Air Cap­i­tal.

“It’s about em­pow­er­ing women to ed­u­cate them­selves and each other on the is­sues women are fac­ing here lo­cally — in the state of Kansas and here in Wi­chita — and en­cour­ag­ing women to claim their voice.”

“Claim Your Voice” is the theme of this year’s march, which is fo­cused on is­sues such as equal pay, do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, sex­ual as­sault, im­mi­gra­tion, foster care, racial pro­fil­ing, po­lice bru­tal­ity and re­pro­duc­tive and men­tal health, Calvert said.

“At ev­ery level, whether it is school board or run­ning for city coun­cil or run­ning for gov­er­nor, claim your voice be­cause we need women in po­si­tions of author­ity to rep­re­sent other women,” she said.

The first Wi­chita Women’s March in 2017 drew thou­sands of women and their sup­port­ers down­town the day af­ter the in­au­gu­ra­tion of Pres­i­dent Trump. Last year’s rally drew more than 1,200, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal law en­force­ment es­ti­mates, Calvert said.

Im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing this year’s march, Aero Plains Brew­ing, 117 N. Han­d­ley St. in De­lano, will host an af­ter-party with food trucks and live mu­sic.

Calvert said the Women’s March is about “lift­ing up the voices of women who are too of­ten left out” — but it’s not for women only.

“Re­gard­less of gen­der or re­li­gion or where you come from, ev­ery­one is wel­come. Ev­ery­one that sup­ports equal rights for one an­other,” she said.

“Even if this isn’t an is­sue that you feel af­fects you di­rectly, it’s so im­por­tant for us to show up for one an­other and be sup­port­ive.”

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit the group’s event page on Face­book.

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