Second Women's March in Charleston focuses on electoral justice

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Some 2,000 women and men were expected to gather in downtown Charleston Saturday in an effort to spark a conversation about electoral justice.

The second Women's March: South Carolina – Charleston event kicked off at noon in Brittlebank Park. It continues until 4 p.m.

Rainy weather in 2017 didn't stop families from coming out for the inaugural Women's March in Charleston.

This year organizers are ready to continue the movement, focusing on a range of issues including electoral justice.

"It's important to go out and vote," said Moriah, of Charleston. "No change is going to happen unless everyone gets registered to vote for what they believe in."

"It's about having a conversation," Vanessa Mood-Laird said. "We all have to do our part to be part of that conversation. Our democracy isn't working if we're not engaging, and if we're not all engaging then it's not a just democracy."

The movement started in Washington D.C. in 2017 with a turnout of nearly 500,000 people. Locally, organizers saw nearly 4,000 people come out here to Brittlebank Park. This year, organizers say they're expecting 2,000 people.

"This year its straight up a rally," Mood-Laird said. "Marching is great, and we moved and that's wonderful, but the movement exists now, and it's time to push into action."

The rally will also reflect on the push to action by Septima P. Clark, a Charleston teacher and civil rights activist.

"I'm super excited about that because I don't think our community necessarily knows who she is or what her legacy is," Moody-Laird said.

While her name graces the expressway in downtown Charleston, Clark helped many African Americans begin to take control of their lives and discover their full rights.

"It's great to see women stick together and fight for their own rights," Ashley, a New York resident, said.

Among the speakers for the event include various state officials and former Mother Emanuel AME pastor Betty Deas Clark, who was the first woman pastor at the historic church.

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