Women’s Unity Rally Leaders Respond To Trump’s Anti-Women & Immigrant Agenda: “This Is Why I’m Rallying”

January 17th, 2019

New York City – In advance of the Women’s Unity Rally on Saturday in Foley Square, leading women’s,  immigrants’, and community rights advocates held a pre-rally press conference on the steps of City Hall to respond to the Trump Administration’s continued assault on marginalized communities by sharing their stories about: “Why I’m Rallying.”

Saturday’s event will highlight the challenges and systemic discrimination faced by indigenous, immigrant, Black and Brown women, all women of color, the LGBTQAI+ community, and gender non-conforming individuals, and uplift legislative solutions illustrated in the Women’s March in New York City Policy Platform.

"Girls for Gender Equity (GGE) could not be more proud to co-host the New York City Women's March Unity Rally. For almost 17 years, Girls for Gender Equity has been at the forefront of the movement to end gender based violence, centering girls and women of color. This year, the vast network of organizations that are leading our demonstration are also releasing a comprehensive policy agenda, calling on our leaders in New York State government to center the communities experiencing the greatest harm from an onslaught of regressive policies from Washington. If our organizing, our new Congress and our march this Saturday tell us anything, it's that resistance is fertile - and women are sowing the seeds," said Sasha Ahuja, Chief of Staff at Girls for Gender Equity.

"I am rallying on Saturday because fighting for justice is in my blood, passed down from my mother and her mother before her. At a time when women's rights and immigrant rights are under a constant stream of attack by the Trump administration, it is more important now than ever to elevate immigrant women and ensure representation of our communities’ concerns. By expanding access to driver's licenses, investing in legal services and adult literacy education, and committing $40 million to Census outreach, New York state can support all New York women, families, and gender non-conforming individuals – regardless of immigration status – in the wake of federal attack,” said Anu Joshi, Senior Director of Immigrant Rights at the New York Immigration Coalition.

“As director of Women's March NYC, I am rallying because as much as I insist we celebrate the enormous gains women have made in 2018 into 2019, we must also strategize for an even more inclusive future. The Women's State of the State policy platform is a robust equity agenda with bills our coalition of nearly 50 organizations will bring to legislative session through our individual and collective advocacy. It's important we be strategic in the year ahead on matters of gender equity, LBGTQIA+ rights, religious freedom and tolerance, disability rights, criminal justice reform and certainly environmental justice among a host of other important issue areas. The #WomensStateoftheState policy platform is inclusive, forward looking and we hope an opportunity to explore where diverse communities meet despite our differences. I'm rallying for our collective advancement and in awe of what we have accomplished so far,” said Agunda Okeyo, Director, Women's March NYC.

“I am rallying as an active member of Jewish Voice for Peace and a lifelong feminist who believes that all forms of injustice—racism, anti-semitism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, misogyny, colonialism, poverty, homophobia, transphobia—are interconnected and equally intolerable. We in JVP-NYC are proud to stand with our sisters in unity on Jan. 19 to call for an end to all these injustices and to help advance the Women’s March Policy Platform in New York City and New York State,” said Rosalind Petchesky, NYC Chapter Leader, JVP-NYC.

“Working women have been and continue to be exploited. Our Union, 1199 SEIU, is rallying to say enough is enough! Healthcare workers are the backbone for the most vulnerable people of our society. We are glad to see more and more women standing up to demand equal pay and respect in the work place. We already see signs of women changing the dynamic in the corridors of power and we’ll not stop until equality and social justice for all is achieved in this country. Trabajadores Unidos, Jamás Serán Vencidos/Workers United Will Never be Defeated,” said Estela Vazquez, Executive VP, 1199 SEIU.


The Women’s March in New York City is an event that welcomes adults, youth, families, elders and New Yorkers from all communities.

Women’s March NYC (WMNYC) is the local New York City Chapter of the Women’s March Network and seeks to empower social justice work in the city. We are deeply invested in racial justice, gender justice, women’s rights, and voting rights which we address through special events, cross-community dialogue and creative direct action. We aspire to be a truly inclusive chapter, led by black women and women of color engaged in direct action year round with rooted partnerships to local organizations that align with our Unity Principles. We seek to amplify existing social justice organizing, plus produce WMNYC specific events and actions in the spirit of building a more inclusive city and state.

The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) is an umbrella policy and advocacy organization for more than 200 groups in New York State. We envision a New York state that is stronger because all people are welcome, treated fairly, and given the chance to pursue their dreams. Our mission is to unite immigrants, members, & allies so all New Yorkers can thrive. We represent the collective interests of New York's diverse immigrant communities and organizations and devise solutions to advance them; advocate for laws, policies, and programs that lead to justice and opportunity for all immigrant groups; and build the power of immigrants and the organizations that serve them to ensure their sustainability, to improve people's lives, and to strengthen our state.