Thousands of people are expected to fill the streets of Denver for the 2019 Womxn's March on Saturday.
This is the third year for the event, which also has sister marches around the world. The 2019 theme is "Listen. Unite. Act." and includes a rally at Civic Center Park, followed by a mile-long march through downtown, and ending with speakers and presentations.
Angela Astle is on the leadership team for the Womxn's March. She says this year, they are growing the community outreach and education aspects of the march. Astle recently spoke with KUNC's Kyra Buckley.
Kyra Buckley, KUNC: Denver has decided to spell 'women' as W-O-M-X-N this year. Can you tell me why?
Angela Astle, Womxn's March: We intentionally changed the 'E' to the 'X' because we believe that the 'X' represents a spectrum, and that gender is a spectrum. And we wanted to show invitation to anyone who is part of that spectrum is welcome to join us. The other thing 'X' represents is that … a big part of why we're marching is due to experiencing some form of sexism, and not that's not female-specific, that's not male-specific. There are a lot of people on the gender spectrum that are experiencing sexism and we wanted to signal to them that their voices are incredibly welcome with us.
Buckley: Have you gotten any pushback for this decision?
Astle: Oh, of course. People have expressed that mostly on Facebook … but also we've had some questions in our community forums that we've held prior to the march. I think for those that have the negative response to it, they feel like the 'E' is being canceled out, and therefore we're canceling out women in a way … I think that this concept that gender is a spectrum hasn't really taken hold in our world just yet. Not because it shouldn't, but because people haven't done the work to embrace and understand the variations of what it means to be male versus female versus anything else that's out there.
Buckley: How would you define, or how will you define, the success of the march?
Astle: What a success would look like is not just the nonprofits that we're highlighting or the grassroots organizations that we're highlighting receive an outburst of support, but if we could look at how does Denver show up with the philanthropy side. By philanthropy, I don't just mean dollars that are being given, I mean the time that people are dedicating to show up and support our community. If there were an increase in that because we helped spread the word — that it does take time, it does take conversation, It does take getting in the weeds and getting dirty — that would feel good.