Womens-MarchIn the spirit of diversity, equality and inclusivity, Canadians across the country will rally in the United States and over 20 countries on Saturday, January 21, 2017, in support of the Women’s March on Washington. The recent U.S. election is a reminder for all of us that the rights, freedoms, and sense of safety we cherish are not to be taken for granted. We will gather to say loudly and clearly that we will not tolerate discrimination, and that we will stand in support of all those who have been (and continue to be) the targets of hatred and closed minds. By marching and rallying in solidarity on January 21, 2017, we are saying that we intend to remain vigilant, here in our country to ensure that the hard-fought gains that have been achieved are not reversed or diluted.

This is intended to be a broadly inclusive and intersectional event, and anyone who believes that women’s rights are human rights is welcome. Edmonton is one of approximately 10 Canadian cities holding a solidarity event, and over 150 cities around the world that will be holding similar events.

The Edmonton event will be taking place by the north steps of the Alberta Legislature on Saturday, January 21, 2017 at 1 pm. Our keynote speaker, Sandra Jansen, MLA for Calgary North-West will be speaking about her experiences as a woman in politics and the need for an equitable society with civil discourse.

Other confirmed speakers include Nakita Valerio, who made international headlines handing out flowers to Hijab-wearing women after a widely-publicized Islamophobic incident in an LRT station; transgender rights advocate and diversity/inclusion professional Marni Panas; and activist, community organizer, and communications strategist Reakash Walters. Roxanne Blood is an Indigenous rights activist and a citizen of the Kainai Nation, part of the Blackfoot Confederacy. The Raging Grannies will be performing a few songs as only they can, and Edmonton’s Youth Poet Laureate Nasra Adem will share a poem. The event will conclude with a solidarity walk around the Legislature’s fountain area.

This event has been entirely planned by a grassroots group of three women:

Michelle Brewer is an academic, activist, instructor and film-festival maven. She has a master’s degree in Women and Gender’s Studies from Trinity College Dublin and is a completing a PhD in social-political philosophy in Potsdam, Germany. Michelle was the sole creator and producer of the 2016 film festival You Can’t Keep a Good Woman Down in Edmonton in honour of International Women’s Day and the Centenary of most Alberta women’s attaining the vote. She has a passion for how women’s relationship to food and their body can be a doorway to their best possible lives.

Paula Kirman is an award-winning writer, photographer, filmmaker, musician, and activist. She has documented Edmonton’s activist scene for over a decade at her blog RadicalCitizenMedia.com; produces the community access program From the Ground Up which airs on Shaw TV; and her photography was recently part of a three-person exhibit at Visual Arts Alberta called “Art + Activism.” Paula edits an inner city community newspaper and works with numerous non-profit groups as a social media and website consultant. In December of 2016, she received the Human Rights Champion award from the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights.

Alison Poste has developed a solid reputation as a public sector professional, known for her business acuity and practical approach to complex issues. She has been professionally recognized for her project management and policy development initiatives, primarily as it relates to land development and provincial disaster recovery efforts. Personally, Alison maintains an abiding passion for social justice issues and the written word.

For more information:
The organizers can be reached at:
yegsolidaritymarch@gmail.com

See the event’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/events/386751131667261