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With a government shutdown in temporarily in place, emotions are high in preparation of today’s Women’s March Chicago’s March to the Polls kicking off this morning with a video montage about the importance of Illinois women running for office, celebrating this year’s surge of women candidates and mobilizing women to get out the vote for the March primaries and November midterm elections. The January 20 event will begin at Congress Parkway and Columbus Drive, the site of last year’s historic inaugural march.

PHOTO: Mary L. Datcher/The Chicago Defender

Speakers and entertainers will energize women and their allies to amplify women’s voices in leadership, speak out against sexual harassment and assault in the workplace, and defend the rights of communities most under attack including LGBTQ, immigrants and refugees.

The rally and march is one of more than 350 actions planned worldwide during the weekend of January 20 and 21, 2018 (www.marchonthepolls.org). 

“We are excited about the event and the program.  Our speakers will rally participants around issues that concern us all and that we see bubbling up on our social media,” said Emily Kraiem, Women’s March Chicago’s Social Media Director.

Schedule:

9 a.m. Music and video.

11 a.m.  Fawzia Mirza, Chicago actor, writer, and producer, returns as emcee.

Performances by: 

Bryant Jones Choir, featuring Deborah Lane

The Cast of Hamilton, featuring Ari Asfar

Bridget Marie, ZaZaZa Disco

Cast Members from Second City’s She the People

Faces for Radio

Lights of Zion

DJ Heather

Speakers:

Tahera Ahmad, Associate Chaplain and Director of Interfaith engagement, Northwestern University

Bridget Gainer, Cook County Commissioner

Lisa Madigan, Illinois Attorney General

Quiana McKenzie, Regional Campaign Finance Advisor, Emily’s List

Channyn Lynne Parker, Transgender Activist

Rep. Jan Schakowsky, U.S. House of Representatives

Rep. Bill Foster, U.S. House of Representatives

Chakena Sims, Board of Directors, Chicago Votes

Tom Steyer, Founder and President, NextGen America

K. Sujata, President and CEO, Chicago Foundation of Women

Celina Villanueva, New Americans Democracy Project, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Suzette Wright, former Chicago Ford Assembly Plant employee

Kim Foxx, Cook County State’s Attorney

Anna Valencia, City Clerk of Chicago

Asha Binbek, Council on American-Islamic Relations – CAIR

Michelle Mbekeani-Wiley, League of Women Voters

12:30 – 1:30 March to Federal Plaza, 219 S. Dearborn St.

March will proceed west on Congress Parkway to Michigan Avenue, north to Jackson Boulevard, west to Dearborn Street, north to Randolph Street and west to Clark Street, south on Clark to  Federal Plaza.

Route for participants with disabilities will proceed along Jackson Drive to Michigan Avenue.

Participant logistics:

Enter at Congress Parkway and Columbus.

Persons with Disabilities may enter at southwest corner of Monroe and Columbus. Accessible Viewing Area near rally stage will offer seating, space for those needing close proximity and/or access to ASL interpreters, Open Captioning, Assistive Listening Devices, and Audio Description. Available on first-come first-serve basis.

Warming center: Chicago Temple, Washington and Clark streets.

Street Closures:

10 p.m. Friday through 2 p.m. Saturday:

●     Columbus Drive, from Monroe Street to Balbo Drive

●     Jackson Boulevard from Lake Shore Drive to Michigan Avenue.

●     Westbound lane of Congress Parkway between Columbus Drive and Michigan Avenue.

 

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