Remarchable Women, the anniversary of the Women’s March on Charlotte, presented an amazing group of speakers in First Ward Park on Saturday morning, January 20th. This Speaker’s Forum represented Charlotte’s diversity and gave voice to our goal of equity and equality for all. Speakers provided strategies for us to make a difference in our communities. Some of their comments are excerpted below. All of these remarkable speakers spoke to the diverse women’s issues about which they are truly passionate. Yet, they all came to one conclusion–the ONLY way we are going to change anything is to VOTE in May in the primaries and to VOTE in November to make North Carolina BLUE. #powertothepolls #makeNCblue We must all go to the polls and we must bring our sisters with us.
Videographer Brenton Bent recorded many of the speeches and was kind enough to share them with us. Click here for the link. He also edited together a nice two-minute montage of the event and shared that with us as well.
See below for links to the texts of many of the speeches.
Speakers included Vi Lyles, Charlotte’s first female African American Mayor, City Council Rep and Mayor Pro Tem Julie Eiselt, City Council Rep LaWana Mayfield, Charlotte’s first openly gay council member, and Dimple Ajmera, first Asian-American to serve on the Charlotte City Council.
Congresswoman Alma Adams, NC 12th Congressional District, was not able to join us in Charlotte on January 20 due to the government shut-down; however, she recorded her planned speech and it was heard by March attendees via the PA system.
“Women, we are doers, and today, we’re marching through the streets of Charlotte and cities across our nation to take action and protect our rights. As you march shoulder to shoulder today, remember our work does not end here. We must take the spirit of this march with us through every day of 2018. Whether you’re angry, inspired, or a combination of the two– it’s time to put those feelings into action. Volunteer for a local cause. Call, email, write, and tweet your representatives. And if you don’t hear from them, don’t stop because they need to hear from you. And run for office and Vote!…. In the final analysis my sisters, it’s all about power. And power is what makes the difference in lives and communities; And the first thing you have to understand about power and how to get it is; You don’t ask someone how to get it, where it is or can you have it— You take it! And once you’ve taken it my sister’s, You Use It! March on– Ladies—it’s 2018. This Is Our Year! AND I APPROVE THIS MESSAGE- SO LET’S TURN THIS MOTHER OUT!” To read full text of speech click here. Alma Adams Remarchable Speech
Dimple Adjmera, Charlotte City Council At Large
“A movement for all women – White, African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic and Native Americans. A movement where we fight for equal pay, healthcare, funding for title 9 programs and our respect and our dignity. A movement where we stand in solidarity… This movement is only possible when we religiously practice 3 important steps: #1 Support one another and reach across cultural divides which means being uncomfortable and meeting someone who doesn’t look like you. We must embrace our diversity! #2 Challenge media when you see they’re being unfair towards women leaders and hold them accountable. #3 Support first time woman candidates – It takes a lot of courage to run for an office, especially if you’re a woman. United We Stand and United We’re Unstoppable!” To read the full text of speech click here: Dimple Adjmera Remarchable Speech
Rev Amantha Barbee, Pastor, Statesville Ave Presbyterian Church and Chair, Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice
Representative Carla Cunningham, NC House of Representatives, 106th District
“Good morning. Thank you for being here to support women, their issues, and families. Now let’s talk. I got a few things I am going to tell you and my words are not going to be soft.
Far too long, we have been nicely carrying everybody’s issues on our backs. Today dust off your backs, it is time to carry our own issues and ourselves, Issues such as Equal Pay, and the Equal Rights Amendment. We want Gender Justice!
Far too long other individuals have tried to define who we are, and attempted to determine our destinies. Not today, it is a new Day in North Carolina. Let’s charter our own course! We must start today, we cannot wait! Permission is not needed! Now, we have been distracted by the news headlines on the National stage. Today we have to keep our eyes on the prize. The Prize is the North Carolina State House. Yes it might seem bleak at the moment, but if Virginia can turn their House of Delegates and Alabama can elect a Democratic Senator after 25 years, Why can’t we?”… For read full text of speech click here: CarlaCunningham Remarchable Speech
Jill Dinwiddie, Volunteer, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic
“I thought I’d start with my story about Afghan women.
Barbara Walters tells about her trip to Afghanistan shortly after 2001 when one of the things she noticed was that the women walked several feet behind the men. Well, she returned years later and was surprised to see that the women were still walking several feet behind the men. She said to one of the women. “I notice that in spite of all of the advances women have made here, you still walk several paces behind your men. The woman looked her straight in the eye and said, “LAND MINES”. So the moral of the story is . . . behind every man there’s a very smart woman. While misogyny in the US takes a different course than in Afghanistan, we all know that it still pervades our institutions and our governments beginning with all the white men running our country….” To read full text of speech click here: Jill Dinwiddie Remarchable Speech
Lynn Erdman, Assn. of Women’s Health, Obstetric & Neonatal Nurses
Jade Jackson, Poor People’s Campaign, “Now as we return our focus to the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival we focus on the 4 evils that we will end! They are the sins of poverty, systemic racism and other oppression, the war economy, and ecological devastation.
Phase 3 (of the Poor People’s Campaign) begins the day after Mother’s Day, with our first day of 40 days of Direct Action and Civil Disobedience. This is just a kickoff for the movement which will take years! …When we speak about Civil Disobedience, which includes sit-ins, disruption of Congress, and other activities we are speaking of placing pressure on the law makers. We must not be afraid to make sacrifices for our future and the future of our children. ….Please go online at poorpeoplescampaign.org and breachrepairers.org to stay abreast of the campaign. Also please complete the online Pledge Cards for the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival….” To read full text of speech click here: Jade Jackson Remarchable Speech
Pam Hutson, Lillian’s List “We believe in order to change the laws in this state we have to change the lawmakers. Women are 54% of the electorate, but hold only 25% of the elected positions at the state level. That needs to change! We need to change the face of power in Raleigh. When political leaders refuse to take sexual assault seriously, we need to change the face of power. When our voting rights are under attack, we need to change the face of power. When a woman’s access to full reproductive healthcare is in jeopardy because men are in control of the legislative process, we need to change the face of power….And do you know what we have learned in our 20 year history? When women run they win! They win at the same rate as men and they change the debate in North Carolina and in Washington. Women are great fund raisers, strong advocates and we are incredible organizers and multi-taskers.” To read full text of speech click here: Pam Hutson Remarchable Speech
Rose Hamiid, Muslim Women of the Carolinas
Delores Johnson Hurt, League of Women Voters
“‘WOMEN’S RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS! GENDER JUSTICE IS RACIAL JUSTICE IS ECONOMIC JUSTICE! CIVIL RIGHTS ARE OUR BIRTHRIGHT! YOUR LIBERATION IS MY LIBERATION!'” Those words are from last year’s Women’s March on Washington. And I believe the strength of those words is on display today as we celebrate the one year anniversary of the Charlotte Women’s March, the diversity of women on this stage, and the thousands of you who are here to say: We’re still here and we’re not going away! For those of you who don’t know about the League of Women Voters, we are a non-partisan, grassroots, political organization that been around for almost 100 years…. I wanted you to know about the League of Women Voters because our organization is not new to the struggle of fighting for voting rights and equal rights and civil rights and women’s rights and a representative government for all. We were and are the original warriors for women’s rights in this country and I’m glad to represent here today… To read full text of speech click here:DELORES JOHNSON HURT Remarchable Speech
Yisel Pomier Maren, Latin American Coalition, “We believe that through empowerment, educating the public, and civic engagement, we will have a better society. ….Please look around and see that we are part of the same world. Take the time to learn about other cultures, identities, religions before you judge someone. Please, raise your voice to protect others. Do not allow anyone to treat another human being without respect. Because you would never know when, they are going to come for you, and have no one there to speak for you. El siguiente mensaje va para mi comunidad. Es importante pedir a nuestros vecinos que abran sus puertas y nos dejen entrar, pero También es vital que nosotros abramos nuestros corazones y los dejemos entrar a ellos. Seamos el cambio que queremos. El verdadero cambio empieza con cada uno de nosotros.” To read full text of speech click here: Yisel Pomier Maren Remarchable Speech.
Carolyn Logan, Black Women’s Caucus, “Women. Don’t let this movement die. Stand Up. Speak UP. Keep it going. Learn the laws as they pertain to work place harassment. YOU Know, this is not the first-time women have fought and marched to make women’s lives better….Rosa Parks said, ‘Today’s Mighty Oak is Yesterday’s nut that held its ground.’…Don’t let this die. Let’s Do This. IT’S GOOD TO BE A WOMAN!” To read full text of speech click here: Carolyn Logan Remarchable Speech
Melba Evans, National Organization for Women
City Council Rep and Mayor Pro Tem Julie Eiselt
“I must admit, speaking in public terrifies me. When I was asked to speak at today’s Woman’s March, I was honored… for a quick second, and then I was panicked!“Who am I?” I asked myself, “to speak to so many women who have their own more powerful stories to tell? Why would anyone want to hear what I have to say? “Who am I to speak?” I asked myself. I am not a woman who has had to live in fear of an abuser or in fear of deportation. I am not a woman who has struggled in a low wage job, where I was afraid to speak up about work conditions or treatment. I haven’t had the experiences that have made some women, more resilient, stronger and fierce, than I perceive myself to be. And then I realized – that is what we, as women do. We say, “Who am I to speak?” Or we say, “Who am I to run for political office? Who am I to lead a protest?” … To read full speech click here: Julie Eiselt Remarchable Speech
“I am so proud to join you today for the continuation of our historic movement to recognize the contributions of women everywhere. Standing here this morning, I can feel the energy coming from this group. There is an undeniable power that resonates when ‘huddled masses’ come together in solidarity toward a common goal.
Throughout our history, we have seen it over and over again. From the fight over Women’s Suffrage and those who secured the 19th Amendment allowing women to vote… to the lasting struggle for civil rights for Americans of all ethnicities… and even the fight of the LGBTQ community for equal rights. We have witnessed what dedicated groups can do when motivated. We’ve seen their successes and we have learned from them. That is why we are out here this morning… to make our own mark on society… by proving our value and demonstrating our strength…” To read full text of speech click here: LaWanaMayfield Remarchable Speech
“I am Vi Lyles… and I am so glad to, once again, take part in this Charlotte Women’s March.
I was out with you last year as the Mayor Pro-Tem… and this year, I greet you as the Mayor of Charlotte.
So, a lot has changed for me this past year… and much has changed for the overall Women’s movement… and it’s clear that my success is linked to what we are rallying for today. I want to thank everyone who has offered support over this past year… and for having the faith in me to act as your instrument of change in Charlotte. We are all here today because we deeply care about the well being of women… and we want to promote a safe and productive environment for all women. As my call to action… I’d like to focus on an issue that really affects everyone… but is especially destructive to women. We must work to put an end to the threat of domestic violence. This is a problem that is plaguing communities all over our country…” To read full text of speech click here: Mayor Lyles Remarchable Speech
Zach Thomas, singing on behalf of Health Care Justice, NC
Drs. Jane McDermott Shaefer and Mickie Hall, co-chairs, CWM Women’s Health Committee, coordinated the Speakers’ Forum for Remarchable Women, the 2018 Women’s March on Charlotte.
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