Throughout this month, prominent female figures are commemorated for their lifetimes of hard work and achievement, and every day women are honored by their friends, families and peers for being the strong, independent people that they are. It makes sense that during such a time, UCCS’ Feminist Club would be marching through downtown Colorado Springs.
The UCCS Feminist Club invites students, faculty and community members to join in a women’s march at 1:00 p.m. on March 28, outside of City Hall in downtown Colorado Springs.
Since 1987, the citizens of the United States have celebrated March as Women’s History Month. For 31 days, women’s contributions to a variety of fields including science, history, literature, entertainment, mathematics and law are acknowledged for breaking down gender barriers and the patriarchy.
The UCCS Feminist Club was established in Fall 2020 by a group of students who wanted to create a safe space on campus where any student is welcome and can feel respected and accepted for who they are.
Alisha Silkey, the feminist club’s volunteer organizer, gives credit of the group’s formation to club President Joy Webb. Editor’s Note: UCCS Feminist Club’s Joy Webb is also co-editor-in-chief for the Scribe. Joy did not contribute to this article.
“Joy Webb was the driving force that established our club,” she said. “She recruited her sister, Missa Webb and I to join her, as we all share similar values. Our club is passionate about advocating for equity and equality, helping women, and volunteering in our local community.”
The goal of the UCCS Feminist Club is to create a space where students can come together to build relationships with individuals who enjoy celebrating differences and engaging with one another. “Our club’s goal is to try to advocate for intersectional feminism, since there are more issues that affect different women depending on more factors than just the gender they identify with.
“The reason we feel this is important is because of the recent hate crimes and murder of Asian American women in Atlanta and in our country in general; the on-going wage gap, for BIPOC women, especially; the mistreatment of women in the NCAA and the overall inequality in male-dominated spaces after the locker room incident; the violence that transgender women and those in LGBTQ+ community face; the Xingjian internment camps where Uighur women are being tortured and held against their will; and the recent murder of Sarah Everard in the UK. These are only some of the recent unjust incidences that display the oppression and violence that women still endure today; however, there are far too many to specifically list them all,” Silkey said.
Since March is Women’s History Month, the members of the UCCS Feminist Club thought that holding a women’s march would offer members the chance to connect with one another in-person, since almost all of the club meetings, so far, have been held virtually due to the pandemic.
But there was another significant reason behind the choice to march. “The UCCS Feminist club is hosting this women’s march in hopes of creating unity in our community among all people, of all backgrounds and beliefs, show support for each other and especially for women, and fight for change and women’s rights. We want there to be more of a conversation in Colorado Springs about women’s rights other than just on college campuses,” Silkey explained.
Silkey elaborated on the planning process, stating, “When planning for this march, our original intent was to celebrate women’s history month, but in light of recent events, we could not be dismissive of all of the ongoing unfair discrimination and oppression. Our goal is still to come together as a community to celebrate women’s history month prioritizing inclusivity, nonviolence, safety and respect while recognizing the diverse range of issues that are presently impacting women around the world, and within our own community of Colorado Springs. We would love to hear reasons why you are marching!”
The march has been organized by Joy and Missa Webb and Silkey.
The club will be marching for about 18 blocks through the downtown Colorado Springs area. This event is public and open to all members of the community, but the club does ask that anyone who plans on attending shows up with a mask and follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines regarding COVID-19.
Because this event is open to everyone, attendees do not need to be UCCS students or women in order to join and show their support.
Anyone who is interested in attending the women’s march is encouraged to email Joy Webb at [email protected] to be added to the UCCS Feminist Club’s email list to stay up to date on club meetings and community events.
“We encourage ALL people to come to this march in support of change, and we hope that this can be the step in the right direction for our community to show support for each other and especially for women. Whatever or whoever your reason for marching — your mother, sister, daughter, grandmother, aunt, friend, mentor, partner, yourself, etc. — we will march for HER on Sunday, March 28th at 1 p.m. in front of City Hall,” encourages the UCCS Feminist club officers.
For those who are interested in becoming a member of the club, Silkey noted, “Membership does not include any long-term commitments, but everyone is welcome to come as they are and when it is most convenient for them!”
In any case, Silkey encourages students and the community to follow them on Instagram at @UCCSfeminists for club information and updates.