UPPER KEYS — What do celebrities Jessica Chastain and Amy Schumer have in common with Key Largo residents Denise Downing and Cathy Bosworth? They will all be marching in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Jan. 21 — the day after President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration — to send a message of equality to the Republican party.
The national Women’s March on Washington is expected to draw nearly 300,000 people to the U.S. Capitol, according to organizers.
“I am marching in Washington because I want to send a clear message to the Republican Party and Donald Trump that I reject his misogynistic, racist, homophobic, xenophobic and anti-immigrant agenda,” Downing said.
Downing advocates peace and thinks the march is the perfect venue to express that message. She plans to carry signs while marching that read, “Love, not hate, will make America great” and “Build bridges instead of walls.”
Logistically, she will create the signs when she arrives in D.C. rather than pack them in a suitcase and fly with them.
Cathy Bosworth, a Plantation Key resident, has plans to go with Downing to the nation’s capital and march alongside her two daughters and three granddaughters; the youngest is Naomi Snell, a Plantation Key School fifth-grader. Bosworth said the two talk about politics a lot, and that Naomi is aware of how important women’s rights are.
“She doesn’t know if people are going to be mad at us or not, but she feels it’s important to go,” Bosworth said.
Bosworth said she had a vision of millions of women coming together for the presidential inauguration, but under completely different circumstances — to celebrate the election of the nation’s first female president.
“Thinking [Hillary] Clinton was going to be elected was as natural as thinking the sun is going to rise tomorrow,” she said. “To me, going to D.C. is a way of saying that we want to keep everything that’s good and keep the progress that has been established in the last eight years. We can’t digress. It’s going to be an interesting thing to be a part of.”
According to the event’s official website, womensmarch.com, “women’s rights are human rights” and listed are hundreds of sister marches that have cropped up in every state and across the globe. In Monroe County, a march is planned that day in Key West at 2 p.m
In Islamorada, the same day, Shevaun Shamon, proprietor of Living from the Heart, will host “We Will Rise” to show her support. Shamon said her meditation and yoga event is for women who want to set their intentions on supporting the march in D.C. and to further strengthen the message of equality.
Terry Willner-Tainow, who is co-coordinating the Islamorada event, said, “This will be a good feeling thing.”
“This is not a political statement for me,” added Shamon. “It’s to peacefully strengthen the message of equality and show support here in Islamorada for women everywhere.”
“We Will Rise” is scheduled from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Village Square located directly behind the Trading Post at mile marker 81.8, bayside. The demonstration will include yoga, a walking meditation and a resting meditation. Written intentions can be tied to a peace tree on biodegradable sheaths. Donations will be accepted toward the Domestic Abuse Shelter of the Florida Keys. For more information, contact Living from the Heart at 305-393-1494.