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Rhode Island Womxn’s Action Initiative sets a new course



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)

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]

About the Author

Steve Ahlquist is Uprise RI's co-founder and lead reporter. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade.

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