The signs are made, the route mapped out, and Sarnia is ready to march.
“Our team is working so hard; everybody’s got their roles and everything is coming together,” said Adelle Stewardson, the brains behind the inaugural Sarnia-Lambton Women’s March, set for Saturday, Jan. 19.
“At this point, we’re just making sure that everybody who wants to march, knows about it.”
The event, which will coincide with Women’s Marchs around the world, begins with a 12 noon welcome address and rally in the Lambton Mall parking lot, followed by the official march. It will take participants from Lambton Mall Road to Exmouth Street, down Exmouth to Murphy Road, then back to London Road.
An after-party is slated for 1:30 p.m. at Refined Fool.
The event is organized by the Sarnia-Lambton chapter of Women’s March Canada, formed earlier this year, and joins a growing number of groups leading the charge for the advancement of women in Canada.
Millions took to the streets worldwide for the inaugural Women’s March in January 2017 — a protest spurred by the election of U.S. President Donald Trump and fuelled by the #MeToo movement — in support of women’s equality, human rights, health-care reform, immigration reform, reproductive rights, and other issues.
This year, the theme globally is Ending Violence Against Women. In Canada, the focus is on missing and murdered indigenous women, said local executive team member Lila Palychuk.
“We definitely want to reiterate that everyone is welcome. This is not just a ‘women’s event,’” she said. “Women’s rights are human rights.”
Palychuk is one of about 15 members of the chapter’s executive team who have worked the past few months to raise awareness in the community.
“We’ve really been doing a lot,” she said, pointing to First Friday events, participation in events like Take Back the Night and a counter-protest against a local anti-abortion rally. It’s all centred on the group’s core values of women’s rights, known as H.E.R.S. (health, economic security, representation and safety).
“We’re looking at doing some Lean In Circles, and a Women in Trades event as well.”
Several hundred people have indicated they are either ‘going’ or ‘interested’ on the chapter’s Facebook Page, but Palychuk said it’s hard to know how many participants will attend the Jan. 19 event, which includes speakers Karen Mathewson, chair of Sarnia-Lambton’s Poverty Reduction Network; Lambton Circles’ Martine Creasor, and executive member Ronnie Capes.
Participants are encouraged to dress warmly, and the event goes rain or shine.
For more, visit the Women’s March Canada-Sarnia-Lambton Facebook page, or www.womensmarchcanada.com
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: Sarnia-Lambton Women’s March
WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 19, (Welcome address begins at 12 noon)
WHERE: Lambton Mall parking lot (near the former Sears)
DETAILS: All welcome