On January 21, 2017, a day after the inauguration of Donald Trump, millions of women and allies gathered in Washington D.C. and in cities around the world to march in protest of the election of a racist sexual predator. One year later, and countless inhumane and astonishing acts of policy-based violence later, women and allies will march again.
This year’s march, occurring January 21, 2018, will be centered in Las Vegas, and its theme is “Power to the Polls,” a proactive response and acknowledgement of the work its organizers have been doing over the past year. “This year we’ve rallied, we’ve marched, we’ve held town halls, we’ve huddled, we’ve written postcards, and we’ve run for office in bigger numbers than before,” Bob Bland told the Huffington Post. “All of it was culminating in this moment, which is the anniversary of the Women’s March, where we convert our collective power that we all felt last year on January 21st into a groundswell of political power.”
Unlike the inaugural Women’s March, which felt like the natural result of collective outrage, the organizers of this year’s anniversary event felt that it was necessary to to be more targeted in their approach. “We thought to just have another march in Washington, D.C., would be purely symbolic, and it would not necessarily reach the goals of turning a historic moment into a movement that would impact the communities that we seek to engage and help to transform,” co-chair Tamika Mallory told USA Today.
The organizers of the first Women’s March have been working steadily throughout the year to organize collective political actions, including A Day Without a Woman and the Women’s Convention, a massive two-day event meant to bolster the occasionally-flagging spirt of activism and protest. According to the website, the march is being held in Las Vegas in part because of its role as a battleground state in the 2018 Senate race; the march will also kick off a nationwide voter registration tour.
While the Women’s March organizers are concentrating their energies on swing states, another activist organization has emerged with their focus trained on the red states. March On is another non-profit founded by organizers in red states who, according to the New York Times, felt that the activism encouraged by Women’s March, Inc., was not “resonating in their communities.” This ideological split is representative of a larger rift in activist circles: March On was founded by women who have little to no experience in political organization. Women’s March, Inc is in some way its opposite, helmed by women who are media-savvy and aware of the importance of branding. Regardless of these differences, which are bound to happen in any movement, their aim is the same: to get more women in office, to the polls, and to get more lawmakers with progressive values in positions of power.
This year’s march in Vegas kicks off at 10 A.M on Sunday, January 21. Marches are also planned for Washington D.C. and New York City the day before, on Saturday, January 20. For those not making the trek to Vegas, a full directory of other marches in other states around the country is available here.