MORRISTOWN, NJ – Hundreds of residents from Essex County boarded buses sponsored by local non-profit organization BlueWaveNJ headed for the Morristown Women's March on Saturday. BlueWave sent five bus-loads of people from all over to the march.
Thousands of men, women and children filled the streets of Morristown for the Women’s March on New Jersey. Beginning on the front lawn of Morristown Town Hall, participants gathered to celebrate the achievements of New Jersey women over the past year and to encourage more people to vote.
The first speaker to address the crowd at this year's event was Elizabeth Meyer, founder of the Women’s March on New Jersey, who reflected on the state of the country and the many issues that divide the nation. She also spoke on the importance of exercising our right to vote.
“We will not succeed if we do not head to the polls together,” she said.
Meyer also reflected on the need for all voices to be heard and the “untapped power that lies within each of us.” According to Meyer, it is important for everyone to speak up against injustices and for parents to teach their children to do the same.
Mayor Timothy Dougherty also welcomed everyone to the march and thanked all of this year's sponsors and volunteers.
“We are honored to be the host of the 2018 Women’s March,” he said. “Morristown is rich with revolutionary history, and I am proud to add this new chapter to our history today.”
Although people in this country may be divided on many important issues, Dougherty said he was excited to see so much unity in the crowd today.
The Women’s March on New Jersey is hosted by a variety of organizations, including Action Together New Jersey, Black Lives Matter, Planned Parenthood Action Fund and the League of Women Voters of the Morristown Area.
According to the event’s website, the mission of the Women’s March is "to harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change by providing a safe and accepting platform for supporters to rally and march in promotion of civil rights for every human regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, religion, or creed."
“As an Indian-American Hindu woman, I march for a diverse, welcoming America where every member of my interfaith, multiracial, immigrant family and everyone else—wherever they came from and however they got here—has equal rights and opportunities", said Dr. Khyati Joshi, a Fairleigh Dickinson University professor specializing in immigrant communities and race in America.
This year's walk began at Morristown Town Hall on South Street and ended at the Morristown Green. Other speakers included First Lady Tammy Murphy, a New York University undergraduate student who serves as president of The Muslim Network, Essma Bengabsia and many others. While this event was expect to draw a crown of about 3,000 to 6,000 participants, Mayor Dougherty stated that he believed there were far more.
Among the causes individuals were marching for this year included women’s healthcare, immigration rights and LQBTQIA rights.
Related story: Rutgers Historians Collecting 2018 Women's March Signs
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