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Central PA Women's March Planned for Saturday

by on January 18, 2018 12:54 PM

One year after Women's Marches in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere drew an estimated 2.6 million people, the event will be held once again on Saturday, with marches planned around the country, including one in State College.

The national march, both last year and this year, advocated for a number of policies related to human rights issues and protested the positions of President Donald Trump. 

This year's march in State College will be focused on issues as they affect central Pennsylvania, lead organizer Dianne Gregg said.

"The Central PA Women’s March will focus on issues as they impact us in the middle of the state," Gregg said in a release. "Many of our concerns are similar to those of others organizing to protest this weekend, but they may play out differently for women in rural areas.We have asked our speakers to focus on our situation here, to let us know where we have made progress and where there is more to do.”

Participants will gather at the Allen Street Gates between 9:30 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. The march will then proceed south on Allen Street to the State College Municipal Building. Allen Street will be closed during the march from approximately 10:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., but marchers must obey traffic signals at the intersections.

A number of speakers will address the rally outside of the Municipal Building from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

State College Mayor Don Hahn, former Mayor Elizabeth Goreham, and Centre County Board of Commissioners Chair Michael Pipe will deliver opening remarks. They will be followed by speakers addressing specific issues.

“I’m excited to welcome so many dedicated marchers and honored to share the work that’s been done in Centre County in many areas including protecting LGBTQA citizens, opening up the ballot box and reforming the criminal justice system,” Pipe said.

Anne Ard, executive director of the Centre County Women's Resource Center, and Bernie Cantorna, the new Centre County District Attorney, will talk about women and the criminal justice system.

"As much as it shouldn't be necessary to say, we must hold one another accountable for telling the truth," Ard said. "We need to tell the truth about race in this country, about immigrants and the benefits they bring to this country, about sexual and domestic violence and its impact on women (and men) in homes and in the workplace and in the justice system. If the truth will make us free, and I believe that it will, we need to tell the truth to one another and demand it of anyone who would lead us.”

State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Rush Township, will discuss women and the state legislature.

Kerith Strano Taylor, a family law attorney and the Pennsylvania Bar Association 2016 Child Advocate of the Year, will speak about children and families in distress. She is running for the Democratic nomination for the 5th Congressional District seat, but will not be there as a candidate, organizers said, adding that campaigning is prohibited during the event.

Christine O'Donavan-Zavada, of Planned Parenthood of Pennsylvania, and Ritchie Tabachnick, board chair of Keystone Progress, Inc., will address "Making an Impact."

The Central PA Women's March is sponsored by the American Association of University Women, Centre County Women’s Resource Center, Keystone Progress, Inc., Pennsylvania Federation of Democratic Women of Centre County and Planned Parenthood of Pennsylvania

The national Women's March will be held on Saturday in Las Vegas. The theme of the event is "Power to the Polls" and it will mark the start of a national voter registration drive and continue organizers' efforts to elect more women and progressive candidates to office.

 



Geoff Rushton is managing editor for StateCollege.com. Contact him at geoff.rushton@statecollege.com or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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