On Saturday, January 21st, America witnessed the largest inaugural protest in US history. The event was organized in order to raise awareness for a number of intersectional issues such as reproductive rights, women’s rights, the rights of trans individuals, the rights of people of color, and human rights in general. The main event, the Women’s March on Washington, saw over 500,000 people in attendance. Miami hosted its own event in collaboration with the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies at FIU, the Women’s Rally in South Florida, on the same day. The Women’s Rally had over 10,000 people fill up the Bayfront Park Amphitheater to capacity, with more stirring outside, waiting to get in.
Among those 10,000 were some of the CWGS’ own. Sandy Skelaney, the Director of the Initiative for Gender Violence Prevention at the Center for Women’s and Gender studies, a change maker, and a community leader in anti-trafficking, was on the executive committee organizing the rally. She helped recruit and organize the almost 30 speakers present, and made sure the event went as smoothly as possible. She also spoke on the main stage with Dr. Moura-Kocoglu, a faculty member at the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, to briefly discuss how college students can get involved and fight for human rights. The presidents of CWGS’ student organizations, Sergio Andrade and Allison Sardinas, along with several students from the CWGS, stood on the stage in solidarity.
Later in the rally, CWGS affiliated faculty and professor of medicine, Dr. Sarah Stumbar delivered a speech on women’s reproductive health. Some FIU alum were also in attendance. Laura Hernandez, who earned a dual degree in Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies, represented Planned Parenthood at the rally. CWGS, co-sponsored by FIU’s Women’s Center, also shuttled a bus full of interested students and faculty to attend the rally. The Center for Women’s and Gender Studies is proud to be situated at the frontier of the fight for human rights, diversity, and equity in our South Florida community.