For many of us, organizing the Houston Women’s March last year was the first time we ever took to the streets in protest and we did so because that is what this moment in history demands of all of us. And admittedly, we still have a lot to learn from those who have been sounding the alarm long before Trump rode a wave of misogyny, racism, xenophobia, and bigotry all the way to the White House. A healthy functioning democracy that respects the dignity and rights of all people would not have elected Trump. It’s clear that our system was already broken before Trump took office and many have been fighting these injustices for a long time.
Our steering committee members have attended SURJ workshops on racial justice, and we have invited other groups and individuals to participate in planning this year’s march. Some have accepted the invitation, while others have declined. Our steering committee consists of 24 women from diverse backgrounds and over 40% are women of color. We are committed to inclusion and centering marginalized voices, but realize that we still fall short of that goal.
We’re saddened to hear that some people feel as though the Women’s March is not for them, because it is for all people. And we apologize to anyone who felt excluded, it was never our intention. We realize it is up to all of us to act in solidarity with vulnerable and marginalized communities, which means that we need to listen to what people are saying and reflect on why some still feel excluded despite our sincere past efforts. And we also need to do better moving forward. It is our sincere hope that we can continue a dialogue with those that felt excluded and identify concrete steps that we can take to support and lift up all people and communities.