PHOENIX (AP/FOX 10) -- The 2019 Phoenix Women's March takes place this Saturday, January 19 at the Arizona State Capitol.
Organizers say the march will celebrate the successes of women who ran for office in record numbers, who were elected to local and statewide offices.
"We also want to bring to light some of the work that we still have to do now that we have a new legislative session starting. We want to make sure that our voices are still heard and that the things that we have been fighting for over the last three years continue to be on the table for those conversations at our state Legislature,” said organizer Eva Burch.
This year’s theme is ‘Rising Together.’
“What we really want to accomplish with the march is for people to find their place within the movement. We have over 50 organizations who are going to be there that day, giving people opportunities to take the things that they’re passionate about and put them into action,” Burch said.
Last year, March for our Lives activists pushed for gun and school safety in the wake of the Parkland school shooting that left 17 people dead, and Arizona teachers walked out of class statewide, seeking higher wages for instructors and support staff, as well as classroom spending, during the #RedForED movement.
“Those same initiatives are really important to us. Education is really important to us. And having our kids feel safe at school and education, health care, you know, is all part of the same platform that we advocate for and we definitely want to provide a platform for those same movements,” Burch said.
According to reports by the Associated Press, there's infighting across the national Women's March movement, after Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan praised co-president Tamika Mallory, and declared Jews his enemy during an address. The Women's March leadership's response to Farrakhan's anti-Semitic rhetoric has been criticized by some chapter members as being inefficient.
In the State of Washington, the Associated Press has reported that organizers operating under the Women's March banner have announced their decision to dissolve the group in December, as a result of the controversy.
“We did make the decision to sort of separate ourselves from national this year. We have, from the beginning, been though, a locally-based initiative organization, Burch said. “We don’t receive any financial contributions or sponsorship from national,” Burch said.
On Monday, FOX news reported that The View's co-hosts, Sunny Hostin and Meghan McCain, grilled Mallory over ties to Farrakhan in a heated discussion.
"We know that what we stand for is the same thing that we've stood for, for the last three years, and we want to make sure that everybody knows that we're an inclusive movement and that we don't tolerate any hate or any of the divisiveness that has been brought up over these past few months with the Women's March," Burch said.
“What we fight for here are issues that are important to people here locally. And of course that extends to the greater issues that affect everybody, like equal rights and to have equal opportunities for members of the LGBT community, those who are disabled, people from ethnic and religious minorities, those things are important to us. And we share those values with women who march under the umbrella of the Women’s March all over the country,” Burch said.
Burch says speakers at Saturday’s event are a very diverse and broad spectrum of women. There will also be dancers and singers.
Burch says the march is an all-inclusive event and says people from all walks of life are welcome.
“And it’s important to understand that we’re all not going to have the exact same platform. And we want people to know that you can be a part of what we’re doing, even if you’re not 100% in line with everything that we’re trying to promote,” Burch said.
Food trucks will be on the Capitol grounds.
Parking will be limited. Maps to locations for parking and information about public transit are on the event’s Facebook page.
Participants are encouraged to take the Light Rail or buses, carpool or get a Lyft or an Uber.
The event begins at 10 a.m. Saturday and runs until 2 p.m.
The Associated Press (AP) contributed to this report.
Official Women's March Phoenix 2019