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Miami Women’s March Makes Steps Towards Inclusivity

Hundreds of people attended the Women’s March Miami and Rally at Miami Gardens on Saturday. 

The event drew a diverse crowd, spanning a wide range of ages and races.

 

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Credit MARIA ESQUINCA / WLRN
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Hundreds of people attended the rally in Miami Gardens.

Transgender activist and speaker Brielle Roundtree, who led the rally portion of the march alongside activist Candii Reid, appreciated the unity of people at the event.

“All different ages, all different backgrounds, all different struggles, but the unity that was provided here today, like the love and support, you could feel that,” she said.

Attendees advocated for a number of issues like equal rights, police brutality, immigration and domestic violence. 

Coralina Rodriguez Meyer, a local artist, marched with a “cunt quilt” draped over her back in honor of her friend, who recently died as a result of a domestic violence dispute. The image on her quilt references an image by Cuban-American artist Ana Mendieta.

“The women in our country have been under attack, for certainly as long as I’ve been alive and much longer that,” Meyer said. “So, we need to look at these larger structures and cycles of oppression”

Meyer began her quilt project after the 2016 presidential election. She collects worn out women’s underwear that are sent to her via the postal service. Feminists then sew the underwear into the quilt at gatherings Meyer calls “stitches and bitches.”

“I’m really interested in the ways in which we can ask questions within our community, that are difficult and critical,” she said.

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Credit MARIA ESQUINCA / WLRN
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Coralina Rodriguez, left, carried her quilt throughout the march in honor of her friend who died in a domestic violence dispute.

While marches in other large cities like New York drew out thousands of people, the crowd at the Miami march fell in the hundreds.

“We knew it wasn’t going to be a massive thing,” said Carrie Feit, president of the Women’s March Miami.

 

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Credit MARIA ESQUINCA / WLRN
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Transgender activist Brielle Roundtree said she was honored to be invited to speak at the event.

Feit said their focus was to make the event more inclusive.

“None of us are free until all of us are free and that’s what we really tried to convey today,” she said.  

In the past, the Women’s March as a whole has been criticized for centering on white women. 

“I think we’ve tried really hard to decenter whiteness,” Feit said.

That’s part of the reason the event was held in Miami Gardens.

“We intentionally choose Miami Gardens which is a largely black, working-class community,” she said. “And because they’re kind of an invisibalized community.”

In addition, Feit said almost all of the speakers were women of color.

While Roundtree believes the sort of diversity that was present at the Miami march is a step in the right direction, she added that there is still more work to be done.

“Last year I wasn’t invited to the women’s march but this year I’m here so change is happening,” she said. “The important thing is we have a start.”