Frequently asked questions

What is Women’s March San Diego?

The mission of Women’s March San Diego is to harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social and policy change, by creating entry points for new activists and creating a unifying voice for our partners.  As a local, state, national, and global effort we are amplifying our voices so that we can not be ignored. We are #StrongerTogether.

Women’s March San Diego is a women-led movement providing intersectional activism on a diverse range of issues.  We are empowered by the legions of revolutionary leaders who paved the way for us to march and acknowledge those around the globe who fight for our freedoms. We honor these women, and so many more. They are why we march.

Why are we marching again (3rd annual Women’s March)?

On Saturday, January 18th, San Diego residents across the county will march in support of a range of issues, including civil rights, disability rights, ending violence, immigrant rights, LGBTQIA rights, reproductive rights, and workers rights. This peaceful demonstration will magnify the work being done by local community organizations and produce a tidal wave of voices.

How did ‘Truth to Power’ become the theme for last year’s march?

The sister organizations that make up Women’s March California (WMCA) voted to use Truth to Power. Truth to Power is a strong message that resonates with the MLK, Jr. weekend. It ties to the many movements and the spirit of activism.

What is the origin of the term “Truth to Power”?:

  • The phrase “Truth to Power” originated from the Quakers in the 18th century, and found its way to print in the 1955 pamphlet: Speak Truth to Power: A Quaker Search for an Alternative to Violence.

  • Although originally omitted as an author, the civil rights activist Bayard Rustin was a key contributor. In 2012, the American Friends Service Committee posthumously restored his name to the list of authors, issuing an apology for it’s omission.

  • Truth to Power embodies the nonviolent political tactic of holding those in power accountable, whether in government or business.

  • “Speaking truth to power means believing deeply in what you say and fighting every day to have that heard.  It may not be popular; it means taking a risk, it means standing for something.” Shari Runner, Former President & CEO, Chicago Urban League

What does Women’s March San Diego do to ensure safety at the march?

Since the inaugural march, WMSD has partnered with SD law enforcement and emergency response in order to address marcher safety.  We acknowledge that not all members of our community feel safe among law enforcement, and that is why WMSD has a team of marshals who are trained in de-escalation.

What will Women’s March San Diego do to ensure accessibility during the march?

It is WMSD’s goal to support all marchers.  Accessible restrooms are available on the North and South side of the County Administration Building, and WMSD will be providing additional accessible porta potties.  ADA seating will be available in front of the stage and ASL interpretation will be provided. WMSD also intentionally selected the march route to ensure accessibility.

How was the program developed?

The program was developed with feedback from the broader WMSD team and input from community partners. This year, as last, our focus is to ensure a diverse program that represents the issues most pressing to the San Diego community and that align with the WMSD Unity Principles.

How did Women’s March San Diego (WMSD) come into being?

In San Diego the Women’s March began with a social media post calling for action by two local women Dawniel Stewart and Sarah Shaftel. On Sunday, November 13, 2016 in reaction to the outcome of the 2016 presidential election more than 150 community members attended. ACLU San Diego Executive Director Norma Chavez Peterson led an organized activity that laid the groundwork for the March. From there the leaders worked together with the community to hold the March that became the largest national single-day protest. Tens of thousands attended the March in San Diego, joining in solidarity with Women’s Marches across the nation and the globe. One year later, the dozen of women who led the committees’ efforts formed Women’s March San Diego.

What activities are WMSD involved in beyond the march?

Over the last two years, WMSD has provided a platform and voice to organizations that align to our unity principles. WMSD works throughout the year as champions for our Community Partner organizations.  In 2018, we actively supported March for Science, Bridges Not Walls Rally, UCSD Walk Out, Vote! Human Banner, March for Our Lives (advisors), Families Belong Together, Pride Festival San Diego, Rally for the Dream, Rise for Climate Change, Won’t Be Erased March & Rally, and in the Open Conversation with Temple Isaiah & Women’s March LA Foundation, to name a few.  We were speakers at Tearing Down Barriers to Care Rally, Protests for the Modern Age and interviewed by San Diego’s Union Tribune, France24 and featured on a COX PSA for Women’s History Month.

WMSD is proud to be a member of Be The Vote, a community collaborative focused on the campaign to register voters and to Get Out the Vote (GOTV). We provided trainings and registered voters at a variety of locations. This partnership was vital to the numbers registered in San Diego. The group included the County of San Diego Registrar's Office, Women League of Voters San Diego, NextGen, Indivisible, San Diegans Against Gun Violence, and ACLU San Diego to name a few.

What is Women’s March California?

Women’s March California is a coalition of 13 Women’s March chapters across the state. As an affiliate, WMSD members meet with representatives from each chapter regularly to discuss common goals and strategies, and to enact a unified strategy in our ongoing efforts to work towards the vision of a shared humanity and equity for all.

What is Women’s March San Diego’s relationship to Women’s March, Inc?

WMSD has never had a formal relationship with the Women’s March, Inc. chapter  (also known as Women’s March National). WMSD does not share leadership, structure or funding with Women’s March, Inc. chapter and does not have any input or control of their decision-making or leadership.

Hundreds of marches across the globe were formed as a result of the 2016 election.  In an act of unity, most of these marches agreed to unify around branding and Unity Principles without a formalized relationship.