2nd Franklin County Women’s Rally to take place Saturday

  • Attendees of Greenfield’s “Women’s Standing Our Ground Rally” stand on the town common holding signs Saturday, January 21, 2017. Recorder File Photo/Matt Burkhartt

Recorder Staff
Published: 1/17/2018 7:02:26 PM

GREENFIELD — One year after a women’s rally drew thousands of people, local residents will dust off their pink “pussy hats” and signs, and again gather in support of women’s rights, equality and the resistance.

The second annual Franklin County Women’s Rally will kick off Saturday at noon on the Greenfield common.

“The fight is not over,” rally coordinator Jessica Osit said. “Last year we had a really unique situation where we just elected (President Donald) Trump 10 weeks prior and his inauguration was the day before, so of course we’re not in that same place, but we might even be in a place that requires more resistance. … We gave it time and things are no better, so I’m hoping this gives people momentum, another push, another surge.”

Osit, of local group Women Rise, is spearheading this year’s event, taking over as coordinator from Mary McClintock, who organized last year’s rally. Osit said a core group of about 15 people took on different planning responsibilities for the event.

“I knew I had a really amazing group of women surrounding me that would do it if I mentioned it,” Osit said.

This year’s rally will focus on themes of resistance and women in office. The event’s speakers have been asked to concentrate on those topics in their five-minute speeches, and to give attendees a tangible action that they can carry out in their own lives.

Greenfield City Council Vice President Penny Ricketts is among the rally’s eight speakers and performers, and will talk about women in politics and the importance of voting.

“My part is mostly about the political piece itself,” Ricketts said. “As much as everyone may be upset about who’s in the White House and what’s going on, only half the country voted, so my energy is more on that number because you can say whatever you want about this person and their decisions, what they’re doing to our country, but it’s like what did you do for your country, why aren’t you doing more?”

Other speakers and performers include activist Cate Woolner, musician Stephanie Marshall, dancer Jodi Falk, psychologist Joan Featherman, comedian Cindy Foster, activist Rhonda Anderson and all-female rock band Kalliope Jones.

A convocation speech will be given by Katherine Harris, healer, and Pastor Liza Knapp will say a blessing.

Osit’s wife, Amy Proietti, will emcee the rally.

“The piece of it for me is that women together are so strong, and we haven’t yet achieved equality. We’re kidding ourselves if we think we’re on an equal playing field with men, and this is the work we have to do to build that foundation and bring it up from there,” Proietti said. “I can’t stress that enough. We have so much strength when we’re together.”

Osit predicts 300 to 500 people will attend the rally. Attendees under 18 will receive a button from Osit and Proietti’s daughter, Marina, that says “Sushi rolls not gender roles.”

Clarkdale Fruit Farms will hand out hot cider samples in coordination with Artisan Beverage Cooperative, and the Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center will open its doors for people to warm up. Stone Soup Cafe will be inside serving a pay-what-you-can meal.

“We’re really encouraging folks to frequent the downtown businesses while they’re in town,” Proietti added.

“Peacekeeper” volunteers in neon green vests will once again provide security at the rally, and the Greenfield Police Department will be available as well, according to Osit.

Proietti said she hopes the event will bring together like-minded people who might otherwise feel like they’re working in isolation.

“You bring them together in one place, in a communal event where your speakers are charged with being empowering, and you hope that everyone takes some of that with them,” she said. “If this is an annual event for 35 years, that is OK because at least we’re still moving forward and I’m hopeful that even incremental change is something to bring us closer to true equality.”

For more information about the rally, go online to bit.ly/2FJmBei.


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