Rain, snow or shine, the Sedona Women’s March will once again take the streets on Saturday, Jan. 19.
“We are very excited for this march and we are convinced that this is the year we are going to have good weather,” said organizer Kathy Kinsella. “But even if not, it’s march rain or shine.”
While Kinsella can’t predict the outcome of the weather, she is certain the march will have a “tidal wave” of support.
“This year the theme is ‘Women’s Wave,’” Kinsella said. “I think it is harkening back to a wave of change. This year’s election was certainly more than a wave … a tidal wave.”
The “tidal wave” Kinsella is referring to is the record-number of women who won seats in the House of Representatives. A record 102 women were sworn into the House of Representatives Jan. 3, comprising 23.4 percent of the chamber’s voting members, according to Pew Research Center.
Toby Friedman, who also helps organize the marches, said the marches themselves are indicative of a wave.
“We look like a wave as we march down the street,” she said. “The march brings all people together and it’s really a good feeling when all those people feel part of it.”
Saturday, Sedona Women’s March organizers hosted a sign-making party at the Cottonwood Library in consortium with the Sedona/Verde Valley United and Northern Arizona Climate Change Alliance. The group typically has meetings on the first and third Saturday but dedicated their last meeting to making signs for the march.
Men and women alike participated in making signs, spelling out words and phrases like “Compassion,” “HANDS OFF MY BODY” and “Blue Tsunami.”
“This is a march where if you have a sign and your main issue is climate change or if you’re advocating for LGBTQ rights, or if it’s about religious freedoms, or if it’s about whatever it is that’s your cause, there’s a place for that because that’s how it has to be, all of us working together.”
There will be two more sign-making parties on Jan. 15 and 16 in Sedona. For location information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Kinsella said although everyone who has been involved in organizing the marches has different backgrounds, they all share a vision of bringing the community together – becoming one voice.
The first Women’s March in 2017 was a worldwide demonstration that occurred the day after the inauguration of President Donald Trump.
“In 2016, the election was a motivator for women mostly, to get active, to stand up for themselves,” Kinsella said. “They needed to take to the streets, they needed to get out their message.”
Kinsella said Arizona and the Verde Valley was no different.
“We wanted to express what was wrong with the rhetoric that was coming from the top – that existed during that campaign,” she said. “We wanted to get out there and have a unity march. A march of love, a march saying that love will prevail, good will prevail, politics of inclusion will prevail -- even though we realize it’s going to be a road to make that happen.”
Kinsella said after the first march in 2017, the Sedona Action Network was formed, which acts as an umbrella organization for several progressive groups in the Verde Valley.
This year, Kinsella said the march is meant to further women’s empowerment as well as intersectionality.
“Everyone has to work together,” she said. “If you aren’t seated at the table, your voice isn’t heard. It’s our goal to have everyone’s voice represented and in order to be a welcoming table … those already in power have to extend a welcoming hand.”
The Sedona Women’s March will be Saturday, Jan. 19 at 1 p.m. Participants are meeting at the National Bank of Arizona and marching about a mile to Vino Di Sedona.
Friedman said for those who don’t want to participate in the march, there will be a rally at Vino Di Sedona with music.
Shuttle services will also be provided, Friedman said.
Visit sedonaactionnetwork.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.