State College

Here’s what you need to know about the Central Pa. Women’s March

Centre County residents participated in a women's solidarity march at the Allen Street gates on Jan. 21, 2017.
Centre County residents participated in a women's solidarity march at the Allen Street gates on Jan. 21, 2017. Centre Daily Times, file

Last year, millions of people participated in the history-making Women’s March on Washington. This weekend, marchers will return to various communities, including State College.

Marchers are scheduled to assemble at the Allen Street Gates between 9:30-10:15 a.m. Saturday. Once assembled, the group plans to march on Allen Street to the State College Municipal Building. Upon their arrival at 10:30 a.m., speakers plan to focus on the nuanced challenges in central Pennsylvania.

Lead organizer of the march Dianne Gregg said in a release that the event will be held inside the building out of consideration for those who are unable to march. She invited them to stay inside the building until the marchers arrive.

“The Central Pa. Women’s March will focus on issues as they impact us in the middle of the state,” Gregg said. “Many of our concerns are similar to those of others organizing to protest this weekend, but they may play out differently for women in rural area. We have asked our speakers to focus on our situation here, to let us know where we have made progress and where there is more to do.”

Don Hahn, mayor of State College; Elizabeth Goreham, former mayor of State College; and Michael Pipe, chairman of the Centre County Commissioners, are scheduled to deliver welcoming remarks.

Rep. Scott Conklin is scheduled to discuss women and the state legislature. Centre County District Attorney Bernie Cantorna and Centre County Women’s Resource Center Executive Director Anne Ard plan to discuss women and the criminal justice system.

“As much as it shouldn’t be necessary to say, we must hold one another accountable for telling the truth. We need to tell the truth about race in this country, about immigrants and the benefits they bring to this country, about sexual and domestic violence and its impact on women and men in homes and in the workplace and in the justice system,” Ard said in a release. “If the truth will make us free, and I believe that it will, we need to tell the truth to one another and demand it of anyone who would lead us.”

Brookville attorney Kerith Strano Taylor, who recently announced her candidacy for Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District, plans to speak on children and families and distress. Christine O’Donavan-Zavada, a representative of Planned Parenthood of Pennsylvania, and Ritchie Tabachnick, board chair of Keystone Progress Inc., are also scheduled speakers.

Last year, Centre County residents participated in the Women’s March on Washington the day after President Donald Trump took the oath of office. Those who wanted to participate but did not make the trip to Washington were part of a sister rally in State College.