On a chilly Saturday morning at around 8:30 a.m., marchers came bundled up with signs in hand, eager to be a part of the 2019 Houston Women’s March. With some signs reading, “empowered women, empower women” and others saying, “keep families together,” everyone had a powerful message to be said and a strong reason for their attendance.
Attendees started their march at the Buffalo Bayou Cistern and ended at Houston’s City Hall where they were met with an enthusiastic rally.
There was a diversity of speakers; from recent U.S. Representative elect, Lizzie Fletcher to Rhonda Hart, mother of Kimberly Vaughan, a student killed in the 2018 Santa Fe school shooting. Throughout all the speeches, one common theme persevered – justice.
“March for Justice” was the theme of this year’s march and for many, justice was their motivator for attending.
For Houston Women’s March attendee, Codie Davis, justice for children was particularly important to her.
“We have so many things to overcome. I mean, more than anything protecting children is an important part. Dealing with guns, patrol of guns and just propelling women toward equality safely.”
Standing alongside Codie was her friend, Shaheen Ansari, who marched for the “injustice in how women are treated.”
Like Codie and Shaheen, a majority of attendees did not come alone but instead brought friends and families with them to support the cause.
One of those who brought her family was Aresha Davwa, a policy analyst at Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Aresha, a recent graduate of Southwestern University, is a third-time women’s march attendee. Her first time attending a women’s march was after the 2016 presidential inauguration of President Donald Trump.
“I remember feeling very disconnected and out of place and unwanted in my own country after the election, and attending the march really changed that for me. I felt like I had allies, like we would all fight for each other together. Since then I’ve returned to continue to support the cause for equality, justice, reproductive rights and just march in solidarity.”
Another veteran women’s march attendee was Rosine Hall, a retired environmental science professor. Rosine attended last year’s women’s march in Alabama, and kept the tradition alive since moving back to Houston.
A strong advocate for women’s rights and environmental rights, Rosine expressed a mixture of humiliation and anger towards the current state of our country.
“You know, I’m unhappy about the government shutdown. I think that needs to be reopened… All the damage.”
Rosine channeled her frustration as fuel for attending the march. And while the weather was unbearably cold, Rosine describes a very warm and friendly crowd of people that morning.
“People are smiling at each other, being real nice to each other. I thought it was great.”
Codie, Shaheen, Aresha and Rosine represent the thousands of individuals who, all across the country, woke up early Saturday morning, collected their posters and took to the streets to march for justice.