Saturday’s Kansas City Women’s March was centered at Unity Temple on the Plaza. After the 2:00 p.m. march through the Plaza and back participants gathered for a 3:00 p.m. inside rally.
Kansas City Councilwoman Alissia Canady spoke at the rally:
Councilwoman Alissia Canady: Good afternoon everyone. Mayor Sly James is always a tough act to follow. But I will tell you, looking out this crowd of strong, capable, beautiful women and allies of all persuasions who have come to support the continued fight for gender equity, I’m filled with a sense of pride. A hope that hate cannot take away.
We have a sense of duty over these dark days and the instability in the national discourse that we have to overcome. We’ve been witness to historic victories of women at the national level. Like my contemporary, yes, yes, like my contemporary Ayanna Pressley, the first African American female Congresswoman in Massachusetts who’s [inaudible] to say, she is black and a woman, and proud to be both, however, that is not the totality of who she is.
Like our very own Kansas Congresswoman Sharice Davids, who like myself overcame a disadvantaged background, worked her way through law school, and decided to use her talents to come back and give back to her community to create opportunities for others.
Their success speaks of countless hours – sweat, blood, and tears – that women, girls, and allies, present and past, have committed to the struggle for complete freedom from all oppressive systems, which were so long and served to silence our collective dreams. And make mockery.
But, today is a new day.
We must not squander this moment of national events, but harness it to manifest a future that those who came before us never imagined possible. However, we must be real about the obstacles ahead.
So many of our neighborhoods in Kansas City are blighted due to a history of disinvestment by the government and lack of political will. Often treated as if economic social transformation is not possible. If we intend to grow Kansas City together we have, the wave of national support for women must translate to the actual transformation for the single mother right here in Kansas City.
The woman who dreams of being a small business owner, but lacks access to quality education, child care, affordable housing, and mentors – all these things keep her dreams stuck in neutral.
The violence in our great city must be challenged, not only by supporting police officers with training and tools they need to do their jobs, but effectively, more effectively, but also having honest conversations in our community which in turn results in actionable strategies to address the ever evolving challenges of poverty, substance abuse, and hopelessness.
I believe, I believe we have already grown as a city and a nation to understand that mental health services for those in crisis are preferable to jail, prisons, and [inaudible]. [Inaudible] our responsibility to provide access to that care. We cannot, in good faith, continue to separate the culture of violence within certain communities from the mental, emotional, socio and economic, and political realities that Kansas Citians face within these very communities. We must create a bold, new vision for the future of Kansas City.
When we make all members of our community equal stakeholders in our success we grow Kansas City together. When we serve the entrepreneurial spirit of women of our city, that have been traditionally forgotten, provide resources for their dream to come to fruition, we grow Kansas City together. When we prioritize the mental health of our residents and understand the trauma in these communities, that they serve, we grow Kansas City together. [Inaudible] we grow Kansas City together.
Kansas City Women’s March – January 19, 2019 (January 19, 2019)
Rep. Sharice Davids (D) – Kansas City Women’s March – January 19, 2019 (January 20, 2019)
Jolie Justus – Kansas City Women’s March – January 19, 2019 (January 21, 2019)