Southern Utah University’s latest Women’s March drew a crowd to raise awareness and support women’s rights. Students United for Reproductive Freedom organized the march and a discussion afterward featuring various guest speakers including Ms. Native American SUU Shantel Israel and Canyon Creek Services.
Attendees of the march chanted out their beliefs along with signs both homemade and provided by SURF. There were around forty participants when the march began with a few more tagging along during the route.
Once the march had concluded, there were several guest speakers that told their stories and raised awareness of domestic violence, trans rights and much more. They encouraged attendees to not only voice their opinions but also vote in hopes of enacting change.
Israel, a sophomore majoring in biology, passionately spoke about how domestic violence affects the Native American community twice as much as any other group, which compelled her to be more politically active.
“I always thought I would be in the middle ground and wouldn’t take a stance… but here I am shouting with you all,” Israel said during her speech.
Passion was definitely a recurring theme within each of the speeches.
“Women’s rights are human rights, women’s rights are trans rights, and trans rights are human rights!” Sophia Hart, a junior majoring in philosophy, exclaimed during her speech focused on trans rights.
Cynthia Hawk, a senior majoring in political science and co-president of SURF, was happy with the turnout of the event and the overall sense of positivity.
Toward the end of the event, a gentleman spoke to offer a “counter-perspective” to the positions of many of the attendees. He spoke freely but was met with tension and disapproval from the crowd. He went on to argue with several attendees including Hawk.
The event concluded a little bit shorter due to this disruption, but ultimately the march produced a positive turnout and participants were able to freely discuss their beliefs and profess them proudly.
Story by: Alex Schilling
Photo courtesy of: Students United for Reproductive Freedom