The empowerment of the Women’s March

Eye on KELOLAND

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – The annual Women’s March started in January 2017. But now the event is making a move to a different month — October.

Since 2017, the Women’s March has brought thousands of people together every year both nationally…

“We want the best for all Americans. No hate, no bigotry, no Muslim registry,” Alicia Keys in Washington D.C. during the 2017 march.

“I think it’s that love trumps hate. I think it’s that we are better unified than we are divided,” Susan Campbell, a protestor in Washington D.C. said during the 2017 march.

And right here in Sioux Falls.

“We’re here at the Women’s March today to not only support other women, to support the voice of women and to support the numerous organizations that represent it,” Jan Forstein said during the 2019 Sioux Falls Women’s Rally.

“I think it’s an awesome opportunity for women, as a gender, to get together and say there are things happening right now that are wrong, that need to change and we won’t do this anymore and not speak out,” Susy Blake said during the 2019 Sioux Falls Women’s Rally.

This year’s march is a little different, being held in October instead of January. The march in Sioux Falls will begin here at Carnegie Hall. The topic is reproductive rights.

“So this is dealing with all the things that have been happening recently in Texas and the executive order by Governor Kristi Noem recently so this is the way that we want to get together, gather and talk about these important issues that affect many South Dakotans,” Kristin Hayward, organizer of the 2021 Sioux Falls Women’s March said.

Each year, the marches in Sioux Falls work in conjunction with the national Women’s March in Washington, D.C.

“It’ll be in every single state, in fact there will be one in Rapid City as well,” Hayward said. “So there’s a lot of things going on and a lot of people wanting to talk to each other and rely on each other. So when we have the national behind this kind of movement as well, it makes us feel part of it even though a lot of us aren’t getting in our cars or getting on a plane to fly to D.C.to do the big march.”

The marches have had different themes and topics over the years, but the main message remains the same: empowerment.

“I think there’s a lot of issues that face all kinds of different citizens across South Dakota and across the nation and I think each time that there is different avenues for people to speak out and feel heard is the most important thing.” Hayward said.

But even if marching isn’t your preferred style of speaking out, Hayward says there are other ways to have your voice heard.

“If you are having an issue, with whatever it is, maybe you have potholes on your street or maybe you feel really strongly about keeping Planned Parenthood open and abortion safe and legal, whatever the issue is, you should feel very empowered to write your own representatives and say, ‘this is what is impacting me today and this is why,'” Hayward said.

Though it may be labeled as a women’s march, it is open to everyone.

“Bring your signs, bring your families, bring your friends, whoever feels empowered to be there that day,” Hayward said. “It’s just going to be really fun and, like I said, it’s about the camaraderie and being there for each other and I think it will be a really positive day.”

The march will be held on October 2nd.

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