Denton Woman's Rally Evokes Solidarity

In the wake of the inauguration of Donald Trump and the transition of power within the US government, a group of friends and activists including UNT English professor Barbara Rodman organized an event called ‘A United Denton’: Women's Rally on the Denton Square to stand in solidarity with the Women's March on Washington. The rally is set to take place on January 21st. Activists and citizens will meet on the courthouse steps at 11 AM with schedules provided at noon. 

According to an article from the New York Times, an estimated 200,000 will be in attendance for the March on Washington. Several cities, including Dallas, Austin, and Denton have taken initiative to organize similar protests. Rodham estimates that the rally in Denton will bring between 1,000 and 1,500 attendees. 

Rodman explained that the event was sparked by a conversation concerning the ramifications for health care, education, the economy, women’s rights, racial equality, and other issues affected by the election. However, upon realizing that the march would become a much larger affair, the organizers strove to create a safe space for attendees and strongly encourage activism in the community. 

“We are inclusive and want to promote hope, love, peach, human rights, and justice for all through the democratic process.  We [also] want all attendees to find political, civic, religious or other groups that they can choose for volunteer activities in the coming months/years,” Rodman said. 

Individuals who wish to volunteer in the community may check out voting registrars set up during the event. The event organizers have also made a list of local groups for Dentonites to volunteer with including, but not limited to the following: Denton County Friends of the Family, Denton Habitat County, Our Daily Bread, Keep Denton Beautiful, Mentor Denton, the Denton County Democratic Party, and the Denton County Republican Party. Rodman highlighted the importance of acting as an all-encompassing movement composed of individuals with objectives and goals for equality and justice. 

“We are emphasizing that citizens of Denton are unified in our belief that grassroots activities and the democratic process are vital to our healing and growth, but that we don't need to agree on every issue in order to act.  We want to be able to express our anger, disappointment, and fears as well as our hopes, passion, and commitment,” she added. 

During the event, volunteers have been asked to bring toilet paper to provide in the bathrooms of the courthouse. The courthouse bathroom facilities will be available on all four floors, as well as the Discover Denton Welcome Center and Eastside, according to the Denton Woman’s Rally volunteer handout. Protesters may also bring signs and backpacks as needed, and are encouraged to carpool or use the DDTC transit system. In terms of safety, Rodman said, “We're urging participants to be peaceful, welcoming, and not to engage with any hecklers.”

Ultimately, Rodman hopes the protest will give Dentonites initiative to participate within the community as well as locally, statewide and nationally not only in terms of elections, but in making a difference through volunteerism. 

“We do want people to look around Denton or their own community and ask, "What can I do to promote justice, equality, and hope for the future in my own town?" and then get out and follow through with an investment of time and & money,” she concluded.

For more information on the Women’s Rally, please visit the event page on Facebook. The Dentonite will be covering the marches in Denton, Dallas, Austin, and Washington as the events unfold. You can also follow us this weekend for coverage of Denton women throughout the United States, marching in solidarity. 

Header image design by Sara Button