Quotes from some of the speakers and performers at the 2019 Raleigh Women’s March. Such impressive speakers and we would prefer to be able to capture each speech and performance, but here are some pearls of wisdom. Performers got their messages across in their own unique ways.
Longtime activist Mandy Carter was one of our EmCees and also our speaker on LGBTQ issues.
“I’ve been wondering how change happens. And I think the best way to describe it is the changing of hearts and minds and public policy.” – Mandy Carter
“By 2050, if not sooner, this country will be majority People Of Color, keeping in mind Indigenous people who were here before us.” – Mandy Carter
Jessica Holmes, Chair of the Wake County Board of Commissioners, welcomed the Raleigh Women’s March to Raleigh.
“Sometimes we need a reminder of just how powerful we are. We can reach the mountaintop.” – Jessica Holmes
Good news first!
Dianna Wynn, representing League of Women Voters of NC, and their many lawsuits on behalf of women – “You turned out to vote during this midterm election! It was women who brought us here.”
“My heroes are here today.” – Dianna Wynn
“You are the defenders of democracy for the 21st century.” – Dianna Wynn
Good news on ERA from high schooler, Madison Kimrey – “We fight from higher ground for equal rights. We must continue to work for Constitutional Equality for all.”
Professor Beth Posner talked about the Violence Against Women Act (which still hasn’t been reauthorized in February 2019), and about many people’s reactions to Dr. Ford’s testimony and experience with Brett Kavanaugh hearings and aftermath. Professor Posner also practiced indigent law and works actively against sexual assault on campus.
“[S]o much in the world seeks to divide us, making us forget that we are in this together — that one woman’s struggle is every woman’s struggle, that violence against one woman is violence against all women.” – Professor Beth Posner
“How many of you listened to Dr. Ford’s testimony and heard the stories of women we know – and even our stories? And then we listened to Brett Kavanaugh. And we learned that something is fundamentally wrong with our culture.” – Professor Beth Posner
“It is a culture in which brave women tell our truths. And our voices are all too often disregarded, minimized. But not anymore! Time is up.” – Professor Beth Posner
Apex Mayor Pro Tem Nicole Dozier is also a long time policy expert at the NC Justice Center.
“Tell me that you’ll support Medicaid expansion. Tell me that you’ll strengthen the ACA. That will tell me that you’re devoted to women’s health! Let’s plug the holes in our coverage gap.” – Nicole Dozier
“African American children today are more than twice as likely as white children to die in the first year of life. If that statistic doesn’t drive us into action, I don’t know what will.” – Nicole Dozier
Dr Sarahn Wheeler –
“MLK said that the most shocking issue is the disparity in our healthcare. As we go through our lives, and these injustices persist, they are a threat to our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.” – Dr Sarahn Wheeler
“In the US, non-Hispanic Black women are 49% more likely to deliver an infant prematurely than any other woman. That means weeks..for these infants..away from their families. Weeks of lost bonding time.” – Dr. Sarahn Wheeler
Ana Ilarraza-Blackburn represented the naacp-nc and is co-chair of the nc Poor People’s Campaign, setting the record straight on what wonderful things immigrants provide and what is going on.
“38% of Fortune 500 companies based here are founded by immigrants or immigrants and their children. Immigrant owned businesses in NC generate over 92 million dollars.” – Ana Ilarraza-Blackburn
“If you wanted us to be silent, you should not have put our children in cages!” – Ana Ilarraza-Blackburn
“It is easier to instill fear, even when the facts prove otherwise. The biggest threat to our democracy is the spread of lies.” – Ana Ilarraza-Blackburn
Dr. Yevonne Brannon, Public Schools First NC –
“We have spent our lives doing the work that makes all other work possible…A different world for women cannot be built by men.” – Yevonne Brannon
“The more you rely on officers to monitor student behavior, the more you feed the school to prison pipeline! ” – Yevonne Brannon
“Teen suicide alerts are highest they’ve ever been. Instead of hardening, we need to be softening.” – Yevonne Brannon
“We need more counselors. More psychologists. More social workers. For children to learn, they need to feel safe.” – Yevonne Brannon
Sherry Honeycutt Everett is Legal & Policy Director at the NCCADV, North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Prior to this, Sherry worked on behalf of survivors in both private practice and the nonprofit legal sectors, including as a staff attorney at Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Durham office.
“In Dec 2018, the violence against women act expired, and then the government shut down. Domestic violence agencies across the state do not have resources to continue. The Act didn’t expire – that’s too passive. It wasn’t reauthorized. It wasn’t supported.” – Sherry Everett
“I’m compelled to say one, because I have trouble reconciling this with all of the beautiful, strong women I see in front of me: 1 in 4 of you will experience physical and sexual violence. That is not okay, and we have to do better.” – Sherry Everett
Attorney Whitley Carpenter – Staff Attorney at Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ), covered harm arbitrary bail amounts causing for women and further troubles women face post conviction.
“We can create systemic changes – we can end the money bail system. We can ban the box!” – Whitley Carpenter
“We can push for statewide ban the box. We can eliminate the school to prison pipeline. We can hold law enforcement officers and prosecutors accountable. Now is the time to affirm our responsibility to our communities.” – Whitley Carpenter
Beth Messersmith – MomsRising NC
“Women and our families are impacted by the decisions made in DC, in Raleigh, and in our own communities. It is essential that we be in the room..sharing our unique experiences and shaping the decisions that affect our lives and those of our children.”
“Nearly half our workforce has paid sick leave.”
Kelsea McLean – Clinic organizer and board member of Carolina Abortion Fund (CAF).
“The majority of women choose abortion because they do not have the finances to support a growing family. I’d like to live in a world where finances [do not play such a large role.] But we don’t live in that world.” – Kelsea McLean
Manju Karkare, representing Lillian’s List, and good news for women from 2018 elections.
“Women should have a right to make their own reproductive health care decisions!” – Manju Karkare
Amanda Murray, from Population Connection, on domestic and global gag rules.
“Not a single woman or POC was present at the meeting when healthcare was being discussed by the Trump Administration. The widespread impact of the global gag rule can be overwhelming..but we will not back down.”
Activist Desmera Gatewood, on intersectionality
“Women, I know this world has not been kind to you. But you have to love that person in the mirror. That’s where activism starts. Don’t let the patriarchy tell you that you are not worthy. That you are not smart. That you are not loved.” – Desmera Gatewood
“All of the clashes in the feminist movement..the only way we can get through this is love. But love is not all we need. White women, look around. Tell these women of color that you will not make them fight alone.” – Desmera Gatewood
“You have to love poor women, immigrant women, Palestinian women, all women. Otherwise this intersectionality will not work.” – Desmera Gatewood
Jessica Hulick, North Carolina Chapter Leader of Moms Demand Action, with two moms whose children had been murdered under different circumstances. Dolly Griggs and Alicia Campbell also volunteer with Moms Demand Action.
“In an average month, 52 women are shot to death by an intimate partner. In 2018, at least 1248 transgender people were shot to death, and 110 were transgender women of color.”
“My son, Ahmad Campbell, was killed when two individuals shot into the apartment building. The thought of one shot changed my life forever. Until it happens to you, in your home, your family, you don’t know what pain is like.” – Alicia Campbell
“Christian had been shot 6 times. 4 were in the back. The 4 occurred when he was lying on his stomach face down. Christian was not only a phenomenal son, but a soldier, a leader. A gun violence survivor speaks out. Moms Demand Action gave me power.” – Dolly Griggs
Raging Grannies – “We are women! Hear us roar!”
Alexandra Valladeres – who stood with her guitar , and mostly with her son, the whole time she was waiting to perform. She sang for us in English and Spanish.
“Freedom is mine, Freedom is mine. They can’t take away my rise.”
“Aye yay yay ya, Canta y No Llores.” (Sing and don’t cry)
“United together, we are the heroes we’ve been waiting for.” – IAMSoteria
“It is for the black woman who is told to quiet down because you seem way to tough. This is for Anita Hill and Christine Ford. This is for Sandra Bland. This is for my ancestors and yours. This is for our healing. This is for our change. This is for our hnnames.” – IAmSoteria
Mesha Mumford, singer at a Cary High School. She sang “Rise Up!”
“I am over college campuses being places where women survive, not where they thrive.” – Mesha Mumford
V-day Raleigh performing a slam poem about rape culture.
Randa McNamara – I am demanding justice.
Randa McNamara – singing an original written by an ally of the women’s march –
“I’ve had enough of servitude, had enough of war. I shall rise..into the light!
Unplanned speaker with important points –
Tamikah Thompson – the injustice in Venezuela, the importance of white womxn consciously acting as allies, speaking up against racial injustice, and standing with their black sisters.
Note: Attributing these quotes to the best of my ability! Order of quotes is subject to change. Add link to event. Add program.