Women's March anniversary: Here's how MN supporters are celebrating a year of girl power

Details on the anniversary event happening in St. Paul this weekend.
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It's been almost a year since 100,000 Minnesotans marched on the state Capitol in the cold of winter to reaffirm that women's rights are human rights.

At its "sister marches" from Washington D.C. to Antarctica, people stood shoulder to shoulder on Jan. 21, 2017 – one day after President Donald Trump's inauguration – to march, chant, laugh and cry while carrying protest signs and wearing those infamous pink hats. 

In cities across the U.S., speakers including Gloria Steinem, Scarlett Johansson, Madonna and Ashley Judd preached about equality, justice, and tolerance. 

The Women's March became the largest coordinated protest in U.S. history and one of the largest in world history. Over 5 million people marched worldwide; in Minnesota, it became one of the largest protests in Twin Cities history

With the one-year anniversary this month, Women's March Minnesota wants to celebrate in a big way and reignite women's passion to "create change in 2018 and beyond."

Anniversary event

Women's March Minnesota presents: Hear Our Voice is the anniversary celebration happening on Sunday, Jan. 21, at the Union Depot in St. Paul.

It's described as an "evening of music and messages from feminist leaders," with entrepreneur Nancy Lyons acting as emcee (as she did at the 2017 march).

"Not only will we celebrate that moment, but we'll ask you to commit your time, your voice, your feet, and your money to making real change as we move into the 2018 elections. It is time to renew the momentum of the march and solidify the movement," the website says.

Local leaders like Rep. Ilhan Omar, Andrea Jenkins, Nausheena Hussain, and Susana de León have signed on as speakers. 

Confirmed artists include: Maria Isa, K. Raydio, and Soul Beautiful. More artists and speakers will be announced leading up to the date.

The event is ticketed, with guests asked to pay whatever amount "works best" for them. A standard ticket is $20, but you can pay as little as $5 or even register for free here.

Why isn't Minnesota doing another march?

While a few states are having marches again this year, Women's March Minnesota says it's important that each state chapter hosts an event that "meets the needs of their state."

"In Minnesota, we need to move from a moment to a movement to harness our collective power as we go into a tide shifting election year in 2018," Women's March Minnesota says.

That may mean something like what's happening at the main Women's March event this year, which will take place in Las Vegas. Dubbed "Power to the Polls," it kicks off a national voter registration tour that will target swing states.

Organizers chose Nevada instead of D.C. because it’s a key battleground state in the 2018 midterm elections, and because the city “was rocked by the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history” this year, according to the Women's March website.

Social justice conference

If you can't make it to the anniversary celebration, there's another way to get involved in January. Women's March Minnesota is partnering with several other advocacy groups for a conference called MNxMN 2018.

The "statewide social justice conference" is designed to bring together new and experienced activists from around the state to focus on issues affecting all Minnesotans.

"Our goal is for participants to become more effective advocates in preparation for the 2018 legislative session, mid-term elections and ongoing grassroots activism," the website says.

The one-day event will feature keynote speaker Dr. Rose Brewer, as well as workshops, additional talks, forums and activities to deepen knowledge, develop advocacy skills and build relationships between new and existing activist organizations and individuals.

The conference is happening on Sunday, Jan. 28 at Harding High School in St. Paul. It's $25 for students – find more details here.

What did Women's March Minnesota do in 2017?

March – a lot. 

Shortly after the main Women's March there were protests against the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline, and then again against the Muslim Ban. They showed up at rallies throughout the year for Planned Parenthood, immigrants, climate change, and police brutality.

There was also work behind the scenes to empower women to take action on issues related to race, ethnicity, gender, religion, immigration and healthcare – like 10 Actions for the First 100 Days, town halls, conferences, fundraisers, and petitions.

Women's March Minnesota relived the year of activism in a recent blog post titled "Reflecting on 2017."

"Thank you to the activists and organizations who marched with us, collaborated with us and mentored us as we grew and solidified as an organization," the post says. "We are looking forward to 2018 and the ways that we will continue to learn, grow and use our voices to create a community based on equality and equity in Minnesota and beyond."

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