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Rhode Island Womxn’s Action Initiative sets a new course

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Rhode Island Women’s March, which has staged several very successful rallies in the wake of the Trump Presidency, has changed their name to Rhode Island Womxn’s Action Initiative (RI-WAI) and disaffiliated from National Women’s March. In a press release, Shanna Wells, one of the group’s organizers, writes:

We wish Women’s March well, but we can no longer in good conscience maintain our affiliation for the following reasons:

  • National leadership’s reluctance to call out Antisemitism, and their defensiveness when asked to examine their own prejudices in this area:  There can be no equivocating.  If everyone deserves dignity, equality, and self-determination, then we must have intolerance for intolerance, wherever we find it.  If it appears in our own communities, it’s our duty to address it.
  • Their hierarchical organizational model: To build a stronger Democracy, we should be operating in a democratic manner, rather than perpetuating the top-down model used by the Patriarchy.

The Rhode Island Womxn’s Action Initiative defines itself as:

  • Inclusive
  • Diverse
  • Intersectional
  • Womxn-led, but all are welcome
  • Centered on those who are historically under-represented
  • Grassroots
  • Democratically run

The Rhode Island Womxn’s Action Initiative is driven by the mission of:

  • Human/Civil Rights for all
  • Elimination of the Patriarchy (defined as systemic institutional domination by White, Male, Christian, Cisgender, Heterosexual, Able-bodied rights over everyone else’s.)

The Rhode Island Womxn’s Action Initiative will:

  • Support and amplify the work of Human Rights/Social Justice Organizations led by historically under-represented people, both locally and nationally
  • Act as a clearinghouse of Human Rights / Social Justice actions happening around Rhode Island
  • Support legislative actions
  • Provide non-violent resistance against oppression
  • Create opportunities for people of various groups to work together to end oppressive conditions
  • Create opportunities for social engagement between various groups (recognition of common humanity through dialogue and exchange of culture)

Can we please ask a favor?

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NOTE: The use of the letter “x” in the word “womxn” is a deliberate choice to show inclusion of transwomen and nonbinary folks in our definition of women.

[From a Rhode Island Womxn’s Action Initiative press release]

Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade. atomicsteve@gmail.com