MEMPHIS, Tenn - Sunday marks the second anniversary of the inauguration of President Donald Trump. That also coincides with the second anniversary of the Women’s March on Washington.
Hundreds of thousands of women gathered across the country protesting the newly elected president and encouraging unity. That tradition continued Saturday, as Memphians filled downtown streets with the same message.
“Do you feel, at this point-in-time, things are better for women than they were two years ago,” FOX13 asked Amber Sherman, the lead organizer of this year’s Women’s March.
“No, I feel like we’ve made a little bit of leeway, but especially when it comes to black women and black trans women, we are just making steps backward. I mean they are dying every day,” she answered.
Amber Sherman and hundreds of other women and their supporters marched down the streets of Downtown Memphis Saturday in support of Women’s marches taking place nationwide.
“That’s why I’m here. Things that happen in the news. Terrible horrible things that happen with women, and everyone, all day long makes me want to come out and make my voice heard, that we are tired of what’s happening and want a change,” said Kristen McKenney of Jackson. It’s her first time marching.
We asked if there was a specific incident that drew her to the event.
“The people at the border, that’s not been a good thing. Stuff that’s happening with women’s rights. That’s not a good thing either. So, there are all kinds of stuff I’m out here trying to speak for,” she said.
While women’s rights are the cornerstone of the movement, marchers Saturday also campaigned for reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, and even an end to gun violence.
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In 2017, the Women’s March garnered criticism for not having enough minority representation.
This year’s march again drawing controversy, after the movement’s co-chair, Tamika Mallory, was linked to Nation of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan. The minister once called Adolf Hitler “a very great man” and has been linked to various other anti-Semitic quotes.
The Women’s March released a statement saying, “Farrakhan’s statements about Jewish, queer, and trans people are not aligned with the Women’s March Unity principles,” but many say they didn’t go far enough.
“Our Women’s March isn’t affiliated with the National Women’s March, we are just a sister march. We don’t correlate with that, so we don’t have any opinion on it at all,” Sherman replied when I asked for her thoughts on the controversy.
Marches have been canceled in some cities and other groups have splintered off, hosting their own marches. Sherman said the Memphis march was not affected and encouraged inclusively.
“There’s no way to get things done if we are so held up in our own beliefs that we can’t get past that,” Sherman said finally.
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