Marching Forward

Womens-March-full

For The Skanner

The Women’s March on Portland is moving forward this Saturday with new leadership and a commitment to inclusive feminism, though the NAACP Portland Branch is still not endorsing the event.

Margaret Jacobsen, a 29-year-old Black Portland writer, whose previous organizing experience includes a series of conversations about race called Let’s Talk, took the reins of the event early last week — just days before the NAACP Portland chapter put out a press release announcing it had withdrawn its prior endorsement of the event.

“We have eight days to get this going, and we’ve just been working nonstop, like 24-7,” Jacobsen told The Skanner Friday. There are two main organizers, she said, and about 50 people who are volunteering to make the event happen. “We’re just trying to make sure that what was handed to us, that we do the best with it.”

The NAACP’s release acknowledges the transition in leadership, quoting chapter president Jo Ann Hardesty saying, “Monday I learned that the original organizers have all resigned and now several Portland women have stepped up to continue this effort.  We applaud this recent development and wish the new organizers much success.”

Hardesty told The Skanner she is not personally discouraging anyone from participating in Saturday’s march — but she stands by her decision to withdraw and feels the damage done by the original organizers cannot be undone. Constance Van Flandern, a state administrator coordinating communication among the organizers of the national Women’s March on Washington, helping facilitate travel to the national event and certifying the social media presence for local marches in the state of Oregon, said she started hearing concerns about the original organizers’ inclusivity in November.

Read the rest of the story on The Skanner‘s website.

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