The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us– immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault—that our communities are hurting and scared. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.
In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.
We support the advocacy and resistance movements that reflect our multiple and intersecting identities. We call on all defenders of human rights to join us. This march is the first step towards unifying our communities, grounded in new relationships, to create change from the grassroots level up. We will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society. \We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all. HEAR OUR VOICE.
The Women’s March on Washington is guided by basic principles of human rights with a value on human dignity. We are committed to practicing the following:
Women’s rights are human rights, regardless of a woman’s race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, sexual identity, gender expression, economic status, age or disability.
We practice empathy with the intent to learn about the intersecting identities of each other. We will suspend our first judgement and do our best to lead without ego.
We follow the principles of Kingian nonviolence, which are defined as follows:
Principle 1: Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people. It is a positive force confronting the forces of injustice and utilizes the righteous indignation and spiritual, emotional, and intellectual capabilities of people as the vital force for change and reconciliation.
Principle 2: The Beloved Community is the framework for the future. The nonviolent concept is an overall effort to achieve a reconciled world by raising the level of relationships among people to a height where justice prevails and persons attain their full human potential.
Principle 3: Attack forces of evil, not persons doing evil. The nonviolent approach helps one analyze the fundamental conditions, policies and practices of the conflict rather than reacting to one’s opponents or their personalities.
Principle 4: Accept suffering without retaliation for the sake of the cause to achieve our goal. Self-chosen suffering is redemptive and helps the movement grow in a spiritual as well as a humanitarian dimension. The moral authority of voluntary suffering for a goal communicates the concern to one’s own friends and community as well as to the opponent.
Principle 5: Avoid internal violence of the spirit as well as external physical violence. The nonviolent attitude permeates all aspects of the campaign. It provides a mirror type reflection of the reality of the condition to one’s opponent and the community at large. Specific activities must be designed to maintain a high level of spirit and morale during a nonviolent campaign.
Principle 6: The Universe is on the side of justice. Truth is universal and human society and each human being is oriented to the just sense of order of the universe. The fundamental values in all of the world’s great religions include the concept that the moral arc of the universe is long but it bends towards justice. For the nonviolent practitioner, nonviolence introduces a new moral context in which nonviolence is both the means and the ends.
About the National Co-Chairs
The Women’s March on Washington is a grassroots effort comprised of dozens of independent coordinators at the state level. The effort is helmed by four national co-chairs and a national coordinating committee who are working around the clock to pull it all together.
Bob Bland is the CEO + Founder of Manufacture New York (MNY), a social enterprise that is rethinking the fashion ecosystem (design, development, distribution) and creating a new, vertically-integrated business model that will transform apparel & textile production for the 21st century. Their mission is to reawaken and rebuild America’s fashion industry, foster the next wave of businesses, and create a transparent, sustainable global supply chain. An international speaker + advocate for domestic manufacturing, ethical supply chains and design entrepreneurship education, Ms. Bland has presented Manufacture New York as a case study in Copenhagen, Seoul, Los Angeles, Raleigh, Las Vegas, Washington D.C. and NYC. She has also been featured in two books, Sustainable Fashion: Past, Present & Future (2015), We Own the City (2014); the film “Making It In America: Empowering Global Fashion;” and multiple TV interviews including CNBC & CBS Evening News.
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Tamika D. Mallory is nationally recognized as a fiery and outspoken champion for social justice who has worked closely with the Obama Administration as an advocate for civil rights issues, equal rights for women, health care, gun violence, and police misconduct. Tamika has been publicly applauded as “a leader of tomorrow” by Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, Valerie B. Jarrett and was selected to serve on the transition committee of New York City Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio. She served as a national organizer for the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, which drew 300,000, as well as Justice or Else!, where she delivered a national address to over 700,000. A leading figure in the grassroots, community-based effort to stop gun violence in New York City, Tamika was instrumental in creating the NYC Crisis Management System, an official gun violence prevention program that awards nearly $20 million annually to innovative violence intervention organizations. After serving as National Action Network’s youngest Executive Director, Tamika founded Mallory Consulting, a strategic planning firm in New York City.
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Carmen Perez has dedicated 20 years to advocating for many of today’s important civil rights issues, including mass incarceration, gender equality, violence prevention, racial healing and community policing. As the Executive Director of The Gathering for Justice, a nonprofit founded by Harry Belafonte, Carmen has crossed the globe promoting peace through civil and human rights, building alternatives to incarceration and violence, and providing commentary and guidance for state and federal policy creation. Her work inside of juvenile detention centers and prisons in California and New York has provided cultural, spiritual and educational events as well as individual support to incarcerated youth. Carmen is the co-founder of Justice League NYC and founder of Justice League CA, two state-based task forces for advancing juvenile and criminal justice reform agenda. She has organized numerous national convenings, including Growing Up Locked Down conferences on juvenile justice, and the March2Justice, a 250 mile march which drew Congressional attention to key legislative reforms to confront the national crisis in police violence. A respected expert in the field of juvenile and criminal justice and system accountability, Carmen was invited to testify before the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing and have been featured in numerous media outlets.
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Linda Sarsour is an award-winning, Brooklyn-born Palestinian-American-Muslim racial justice and civil rights activist, community organizer, social media maverick, and mother of three. Linda has been at the forefront of major social justice campaigns both locally in New York City and nationally. She led the successful, progressive coalition to close New York public schools for the observance of two of Islam’s most important holy days, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. In 2015, Linda was one of three women co-chairs of the March2Justice, an effort advised and chaired by legendary artist and activist Belafonte, leading almost 100 marchers through 5 states and 250 miles from Staten Island, NY to Washington, DC. Linda was invited to deliver an address before 700,000 people at the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March, and gained international media coverage. Linda is the Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York, co-founder of Muslims for Ferguson, and a member of Justice League NYC. She is most notably recognized for her focus on intersectional movement building.
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