What you need to know about the 2018 Women's March events

Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy
Contributing Writer
Yahoo Lifestyle
A woman chants while attending the Women’s March on Washington on Jan. 21, 2017, in Washington, D.C. This year’s lineup of events will be a bit different. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)
A woman chants while attending the Women’s March on Washington on Jan. 21, 2017, in Washington, D.C. This year’s lineup of events will be a bit different. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

A year after nearly half a million women gathered in Washington, D.C., for the first-ever Women’s March — and many more millions came together around the country and the world in a day of protest in opposition to President Trump’s election and in loud support of various rights for all — it’s about to happen again. But this time, it will look decidedly different.

For starters, the main national event is happening on Sunday, Jan. 21, in Las Vegas — the city where the deadliest mass shooting committed by a single individual in the history of the U.S. occurred just three and a half months ago. That event, plus the fact that Nevada is a battleground state in the upcoming midterm elections, and that it was recently rocked by a high-profile sexual harassment scandal involving a politician, has factored into the decision of the Women’s March organizers this year. As the state’s Women’s March coordinator Deborah Harris tells Yahoo Lifestyle, “Nevada is really a snapshot of everything that’s been going on across the country.”

Plus a lot has happened since last year — especially the emergence of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements — which will certainly lend a different tone to the events of the weekend.

Here’s what you need to know about this year’s Women’s March events across the country, which kick off on Saturday, Jan. 20:

It’s not a march — it’s a rally

This year’s main event, happening in Las Vegas on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., is called #PowerToThePolls. Rather than a march, this is being billed as a massive rally to stoke voter registration, onsite, and to empower women to help register voters in their own communities. The goal of this event, happening at Sam Boyd Stadium, is to kick off a series of similar rallies across the country and ultimately register 1 million new voters before the Nov. 6 midterm elections. Organizers are asking that you preregister here (it’s free).  

The honorary co-chairs bring a wealth of organizing experience

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; civil rights leader and U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.; managing principal of Energy Works Consulting Rose McKinney-James; and philanthropist Elaine Wynn have signed on as the honorary co-chairs of this year’s event, representing a combination of committed social justice leaders in Washington and significant progressive leaders in Las Vegas. They signal that progressive politics are alive and well in Washington — and important in both Las Vegas and Nevada.

Warren said in a statement on Thursday, “History will remember the day that Donald Trump was sworn in as president. But history will also remember the day after — the day that women all across the country became an army. We demonstrated that we can be the loud, determined, unrelenting force that reminds all of America about our values — and our willingness to fight for those values. Power to the Polls is about fighting back, and I’m honored to be a part of this campaign.”

Other expected speakers in Las Vegas include Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund; Melissa Harris-Perry, noted political commentator and political science professor; Alicia Garza, founder of Black Lives Matter; Nina Turner, president of Our Revolution; Rev. William Barber II, noted civil rights activist; U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Tex.; Idaho State Rep. and gubernatorial candidate Paulette Jordan, D-Idaho; Anna Galland, executive director of MoveOn.org; and others. Faith Evans and Ledisi will be performing.

Can’t make it to Las Vegas? Find a Women’s March in your home state

Once again, sister events are happening nationwide as part of the Women’s March movement. While the Las Vegas #PowerToThePolls event is on Sunday, every other event — which includes more than 100 marches and rallies from Seattle and San Francisco to New York and Atlanta, and towns in between from Sedona, Ariz., to Palestine, Texas — will be taking place on Saturday. You can check the Women’s March Anniversary Event Map to find the event closest to you.

Meanwhile, the group March On — composed of “marchroots” activists committed to building on the momentum of last year’s Women’s March events to translate into votes at the polls in 2018 and beyond — is hosting its own anniversary actions and house parties across the country this weekend, from Billings, Mont., to Columbus, Ohio. 

It’s all admittedly a bit confusing — especially with the existence of the two groups being characterized as a “rift” and a “split,” with March On reportedly born out of a feeling from women in red states that the original Women’s March messaging was not resonating in their communities. But there appears to be enough room for everyone interested in resistance — and even the other side of that, as a Conservative Women for America counterprotest is also set to happen this weekend in Las Vegas.

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