'Power to the Polls' draws diverse crowds - The Echo News
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‘Power to the Polls’ draws diverse crowds

Indianapolis Women’s March takes strides toward voter participation

Homemade posters dotted the crowds at the Women’s March. (Photograph provided by Caleb Grubb)

Homemade posters dotted the crowds at the Women’s March. (Photograph provided by Caleb Grubb)

By Hannah Stumpf | Echo

On Jan. 20, an estimated high of 4,000 people banded together to march from the American Legion Mall to the Indiana Statehouse. The occasion marks the one year anniversary since the first Women’s March in 2017.

Last year’s march was held to raise awareness for women’s rights and a stance against the political climate at the time. This year, the theme was “Power to the Polls,” a call to community members to register in time for the midterm elections in November.

The Indiana Chapter’s official website, wmwindiana.org, states that the march is “(o)rganized by women and those who support the power of women’s voices and leadership, The Indiana Chapter of the Women’s March on Washington is (a) fully inclusive, NON-VIOLENT movement, calling on all defenders of human rights to join us for the first step towards unifying our communities.”

Senior Rachel Campbell also noted strong intersectionality present at the march. “As part of the peacekeeping force, I was standing with two women. . . . (O)ne was a biracial woman, and she had a full ‘fro . . . and the third woman was Muslim and was wearing a hijab. . . . (I)t was cool to have such a diverse group of people just on one corner because we could talk about our experiences and intersectionality.”

Marchers voiced camaraderie and solidarity among the American people. (Photograph provided by Caleb Grubb)

Marchers voiced camaraderie and solidarity among the American people. (Photograph provided by Caleb Grubb)

Speakers addressed several diverse topics, which included the desire for women’s rights, abortion rights, environmental protections, LGBTQ+ rights and racial equality. Some precinct committee persons and state party delegates were also present.

Bus routes were advertised on the chapter’s Facebook page, participants carpooled and volunteers raised money to sponsor low-income participants. Some volunteers carried registration forms to enable everyone present a chance to vote in the upcoming midterms.

“The Indiana planning committee includes a diverse group of volunteers from across the state,” stated the Indiana Chapter’s webpage. “We are organizing travel to the Washington March as well as Sister Marches in Indianapolis and Lafayette. We have partnered with churches, non-profits and other activist groups from Indiana to promote the March and ensure participation from a diverse group of people.”

The Indiana Chapter partnered with Angel’s Wings, Inc., a local nonprofit that supports mothers who have been or were incarcerated and their children. According to the chapter’s website, this partnership will allow the Indiana Chapter to accept tax-deductible donations to support future marches held in Indiana.

“Before I went to this march, I did a lot of research on it,” Campbell said. “I did research on how it was going to be intersectional, looked up who was in charge of this, and it was the same people (from the 2017 march) who were women of color, and their goal of the march was to combat voter suppression by registering people to vote.” It’s recommended to look up this information before participating.

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