“It’s been a long time, a long time coming, but I know change is gonna come,” sang Lyndi Perry, a local musician, as she stood on the steps of the Historic Cache County Courthouse at the rally for the Women’s March on Saturday afternoon.
Perry was singing a song written by Sam Cooke in the early 1960s, but she said the words apply just as much now as they did then.
Community members gathered together in Logan, braving the 25 degree weather, to stand with hundreds of thousands of other people across the nation participating in the fourth annual Women’s March.
The march is a follow-up to the first Women’s March in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. The purpose of the annual marches is to advocate legislation on human rights and other issues.
Susan Jelus, a Cache Valley resident who organizes the local Women’s March, said disability advocacy, mental health and climate change were the main focus for this year.
“Sometimes people think the Women’s March is all about women’s rights,” Jelus said. “But advocating for women is just one of many issues on the table. The movement advocates for justice for all people, everywhere.”
Whitney Howard, the former president of USU’s chapter of “I Am That Girl,” spoke to the cheering crowd about the many reasons to march.
“Today we march for women, for women to be respected and taken seriously,” Howard said. “We march for equal pay. We march for safety from sexual assault, rape and domestic violence.”
Her list went on to include LGBTQ identities, immigrants, minorities and others.
“I am so humbled and grateful to see how this movement has grown here in Logan,” Howard said. “There were just a few of us the very first year, walking in circles.”
The crowd was indeed larger this year than the first year, and it also had some other unique additions.
The “March for Two” initiative was started to help the event include people who cannot march due to disabilities or other reasons. Names of individuals who could not participate were submitted and given to attendees on Saturday to carry throughout the event.
Josephine Hannah just started working with people who have disabilities and said it was an honor to wear a sign to represent a disabled member of the community as part of the new initiative.
While there are many new things about the Women’s March nationwide, movements like this one have been around for decades.
Carole Justice reflected back on the different rallies she went to when she was in college many years ago.
“I am so glad we are refocusing on these issues,” Justice said. “Our representatives are still saying the same things they always have said. They say that because we already do it, it means we don’t need a law. But that is not true.”
Justice had several buttons pinned to her winter coat sporting sayings like, “The best man for the job is a woman.” They are the same buttons she wore to rallies when she was in college.
People of all genders and ages showed up to march, sporting a variety of buttons and waving handmade signs.
“I have always gone to marches, but this is Mila’s first time,” said Joy Brisighella, pointing to her 2-year-old granddaughter. “We have three generations here today, and I am so proud.”
The conversations about climate, mental health, disability access and other concerns continued as the crowd began to march around the block.
“Our personal dreams are just one item on a long list of dreams for a better world,” said Jelus as she picked up her sign and raced to catch up to the marching group.