International Women's Day March

On 03/10/
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International Women’s Day: Press for Progress
Harrisonburg Celebrates
Harrisonburg, VA, March 8, 2018. Women from ethnic communities in Harrisonburg invite the public to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD)
on March 10, 2018 at 10:30am at City Hall (409 S. Main Street) and walk to a rally at Court Square.
 Under the theme, #PressforProgress, women speakers will ask local leaders to expand the representation of diverse women in decision-making spaces. The morning will feature international speakers and step dancing
from the Harrisonburg High School Black Student Union.
“There's a strong call to #PressforProgress, motivating and uniting friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive” according to the United Nations’ International Women’s Day website. Locally, this theme speaks to inclusion.  According to Monica Robinson, an IWD planning committee member, “every time we have a meeting, a get together, or build a coalition in our community, we need to think about inviting women from all backgrounds to be a part of the decision-making process.”
Francie Osando, a member of the IWD board, explained that the Congolese community brought this celebration from their home country and started celebrating in Harrisonburg in 2011. Last year, local Congolese, along with Kurdish, Sudanese, Salvadorian, Mexican and Iraqi women organized Harrisonburg’s first IWD march. “Over 200 people attended last year, and we anticipate an even larger crowd this time because Harrisonburg High School students will be joining us,” Osando said. Last year, each community marched behind their flag of origin and wore their colorful traditional clothing. This practice will continue as a symbol of international unity.
“This event is more than a march, it’s an opportunity to show up and help others who need it,” said Connie Gull, a member of the Harrisonburg Kurdish Community. Shaymaa Aisaadoon, representing the Arab community, noted that she joined “to be the voice of women facing hardship while adjusting to Harrisonburg and the United States.”
Nancy Muñoz, a coordinator of the International Festival and first-time marcher, said, “I feel like being a part of [the march] will be a great experience to meet other people, especially here in the valley because there are a lot of cultures here.” Muñoz also noted that meeting other women and learning from their experiences is an exciting aspect of the rally.

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