Chicago will be among more than 380 cities around the world hosting women's marches Jan. 21, the day after the U.S. presidential inauguration. While the largest march is expected in Washington, D.C., with thousands of people from Illinois attending, one of the largest marches outside of D.C. is expected in Chicago.
Jackson Boulevard at Lake Shore Drive, immediately south of the Petrillo Bandshell, will be the new kick-off point for the Jan. 21 rally and march. People can start gathering on Jackson at 8:30 a.m. An entertainment program begins at 9:15 a.m. with Lucy Smith. The official program with speakers and additional entertainers begins at 10 a.m., with the two-mile march kickoff approximately 11:30 a.m. The march will go through the downtown area and end at the rally site, where people will then disburse.
Organizers decided to locate the stage on Jackson rather than at the bandshell to protect Grant Park from damage. The combination of unseasonably warm temperatures ( high expected in the 50s Saturday ), rain ( bring rain gear ), and anticipated large numbers of marchers threatened to turn the Petrillo's grassy field into a mud pit. There will only be seating up front for the disabled and elderly, but people can bring portable chairs if they wish to carry in the march, or leave behind.
Marchers are asked to gather on Jackson, where the stage will face west and back up near Lake Shore Drive. Drop off points will be at Columbus and Jackson, unless crowds force closure of Columbus. Jackson Boulevard will be closed to thru traffic from Lake Shore Drive to Columbus. There will be a disability access drop off point ( no parking ) at Lake Shore Drive and Jackson.
Co-chairs of the Women's March on Chicago are Liz Radford and Ann Scholhamer, two Chicagoans who came together after the presidential election to create a collaborative response.
Starting at 10 a.m., Ari Afsar, Karen Olivo, and Samantha Marie Ware from the cast of Hamilton will speak and perform. A diverse line-up of speakers including representatives from Planned Parenthood, Youth for Black Lives, Mothers Against Senseless Killings, the Hadiya Pendleton Foundation and more will highlight the rally.
Attendance numbers for the march continue to grow rapidly, now with more than 120 registered supporting organizations sending marchers and more than 22,000 people confirmed to attend on the March's social media platforms.
Information on accessibility, speakers, and the march route are available at womensmarchchicago.org . Due to the rally location change, some information is still being updated. Please check back for updated information.
Speaker and performer list, alphabetical and in formation:
Ari Afsar, Karen Olivo, and Samantha Marie Ware: From the cast of Hamilton,Performance
Jaquie Algee: Director of External Relations, SEIU Healthcare of Illinois and Marilyn Katz: Co-Founder of Chicago Women Take Action
Jean Albright: Master Sergeant ( retired ) U.S. Air Force
Eman Hassaballa Aly: Muslim community Activist, TRUST Collective
Faith Arnold: SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Fight for $15
Khadine Bennett: American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois
Eloise Diaz Bahrmasel: RISE Movement
Ann Christophersen & Lynn Mooney: Women & Children First Books
Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton: Hadiya Pendleton Foundation
Rabbi Shoshanah Conover: Temple Sholom of Chicago
Pat Dowell ( 3rd ), Susan Garza ( 10th ), & Michelle Smith ( 43rd ): Alderwomen, City of Chicago
The Full Court Press Second Line Drummers: Performance
Kids Off The Block and Diane Latiker: Speaking and Performing
Eva Lewis, Maxine Aguilar, Maxine Wint, and Yahair Tarr: Youth For Black Lives
Lights of Zion: Performance
Tamar Manasseh: Mothers Against Senseless Killings
Fawzia Mirza: Actor/Producer, Emcee
Sara Paretsky: Author, Sisters in Crime Creator
Channyn Lynne Parker: Transgender activist, TransLife Project Manager
Rahnee Patrick: Independent Living at Access Living
Maria Socorro Pesqueria: President, Mujeres Latinas en Accion
Tiffany Pryor: Executive Director, Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health
Aislinn Pulley lead organizer for BLM Chicago
Liz Radford and Ann Scholhamer: Co-Chairs of the Women's March on Chicago
Lucy Smith: Performance
Shani Smith: Lead Marshall of Women's March on Chicago, Safety Instruction, SEIU Healthcare Illinois
So Chi Voices: Performance
Opal Staples: Performance
Katie Thiede: Vice President of Development, Planned Parenthood of Illinois
Kimberly Wasserman: Executive Director, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization
Reyna Wences: Organized Communities Against Deportations
Rev. Dr. Janette C. Wilson, Esq.: National RainbowPUSH Coalition
More than 100 groups are supporting the march, including those listed online here womens121marchonchicago.org/our_supporters/ . Key partners providing additional support include:
AIDS Foundation of Chicago
American Federation of Government Employees Local 704
Chicago Foundation for Women
Chicago Teachers Union
Chicago Women Take Action
Illinois Education Association
League of Women Voters of Illinois
National Coalition of American Nuns
National Rainbow PUSH Coalition
National Organization for Women
Planned Parenthood Of Illinois
Pride Action Tank
Service Employees International Union
Windy City Times
Women & Children First
YWCA Metropolitan Chicago
Windy City Times' publisher Tracy Baim is among the "champions of the March" helping with behind-the-scenes planning. The march has been inclusive of LGBTs from its launch.
See womens121marchonchicago.org/speakers/ .
On Twitter: womensmarchchi .
Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/1274648525889466/ .
Also see this link for other cities in Illinois and across the world hosting sister marches: www.womensmarch.com/sisters/ .