Red Deer’s first annual Women’s March will take place on March 9th.
“The theme is women healing communities. Women have always been the heart of healing communities, peacebuilding and a visible force for positive change,” said organizer Sadia Khan.
“We must equip and empower women, especially the younger generation to be a catalyst for change.”
The aim, Khan said, is not only to raise awareness about the importance of International Women’s Day, but connect the diverse group of women from Central Alberta in unity and solidarity.
Another goal is to educate Red Deer residents about the importance of an inclusive society.
This involves acknowledging that all people of all backgrounds and ethnicities — women and men, gender non-conforming people, indigenous and immigrants, of diverse faiths, abilities and ages — deserve equality, justice, freedom and inclusion, according to the press release.
Women’s March Red Deer begins at 11 a.m. at the Club Café at 5019 Ross St., with a pre-gathering and smudge.
At 11:30 a.m., the march will launch from the cafe and head through the downtown core.
After a potluck lunch, a sharing circle will be held. Those participating are encouraged to bring food items to share with the group.
All cultures, abilities, ages, races and gender identities are invited, Khan said.
She expects anywhere from 20 to 40 individuals will be attending.
Attendees are also encouraged to bring signs that are empowering, inclusive and respectful.
On March 3rd, a poster-making party will take place at the Troubled Monk Brewery from 2 to 5 p.m.
“Everyone is invited to come and make some posters for the actual march,” she said, adding that Staples has donated materials.
The Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre, Red Deer Welcoming and Inclusive Communities and the Central Alberta Immigrant Women’s Association partnered to organize the march.
Khan said the plan is to continue the march each year.
“What I envision from this is to have an open dialogue and figure out what are some of the key things that this women’s march can focus on moving forward. What are some of the issues that are in the community of Red Deer that we can start having an open dialogue around, and using dialogue and engagement and collective action.”
Other events are also taking place in the City to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th. On Thursday, March 7th, the Soroptimist International of Central Alberta will host its annual International Women’s Day awards celebration dinner at the Black Knight Inn starting at 5:30 p.m.
On Friday, March 8th, the Hub on Ross is hosting an International Women’s Day Concert. The doors open at 6:30 p.m., with the concert starting at 7:00 p.m.
Also on Friday, Undercurrent Brewing is hosting a fundraising event for Dress For Success. It is taking place on location at the microbrewery in Sylvan Lake from 7 to 10 p.m.