KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Hundreds of women, men, and children walked along some of Kansas City, Missouri’s busiest streets on Saturday afternoon carrying a powerful message.
“I’m a woman and I want to be able to be treated fairly in the workplace, my healthcare,” said JoAnn Martinez of Blue Springs.
Martinez joined hundreds of women on a three-mile walk from Brookside to Swope Park, many in the group holding signs and chanting. Equal rights, equal pay, respect in the workplace, and more healthcare choices are just a few of the issues participants discussed along the way.
Organizers estimate about 500 people attended the march.
“It's exciting to see that in 24 hours that somebody could put together a march that attracted this many people,” said MariAnn Noll.
Many who attended Saturday’s Sister March say they found out around 10 p.m. Friday night through social media.
“Last year in Kansas City, we had one at Washington Park and that one wasn't taking place this year and we had people looking for where can we march in Kansas City, so we said 'here, let's do it,'” said Jacquie Fernandez-Lenati, KC Women’s March co-organizer.
The theme for this year’s march is ‘Power to the Polls,’ urging women to vote, run for office, and campaign for one another.
The Kansas City Women’s March ended with a rally at Unity Southeast Church. Those behind this local effort hope the march adds fuel to a movement with a long road ahead.
“I hope people leave today seeing that Kansas City really has a diverse population that really want to make this world a better place and that people feel empowered and feel like they really can make a difference,” said Fernandez-Lenati.
Organizers have already started planning for the 2019 Kansas City Women’s Match in hopes of attracting more participants and spreading more awareness.