Women’s March 2020


Women posing with her sign at the 2020 women’s march (Anjanai Vallez/Lion Tales)

This year’s Women’s March took place on January 18th and promoted equal treatment of all people. Their message was very inclusive and represented that with an array of participants of all genders and all ages. The march’s purpose was to further equality for everyone and advocate for issues by marching from City Hall to the Arena Green. 

Lion Tales spoke with members of the San Jose Teachers Association (SJTA), who’s main function is “to support the teachers in San Jose Unified with fair wages and fair working conditions,” according to Johanna Latz, the secretary treasurer of SJTA. Latz has been teaching in the Bay Area for 30 years with a full time teaching career in San Jose Unified. Latz explained how SJTA goes about providing for teachers, “…we look at improving working conditions whether that be having just basic functions like air conditioning and heaters in every classroom. Because we still have classrooms in San Jose that don’t have those things.” 

Members of San Jose Teacher’s Association (SJTA) in front of city hall before the march (Anjanai Vallez/Lion Tales)

Lion Tales also interviewed Erin McGauley Hebard, the elementary director north for SJTA and a bilingual teacher based in San Jose since 2002. Both women were marching for reasons they are very passionate about, Latz was there to march for “equality for all people including teachers and children” and Hebard marched because she is “appalled by the divisive, racist policies that are happening at the federal level right now and I want to be out here to represent everybody.”

The meaning of feminism has been distorted by white feminists and those who believe feminism is about giving women the upper hand over men, when all feminists want is equality for all, not just women. In the most simple terms: “Feminism means we’re not doing white male patriarchy anymore” according to Hebard. Latz’s stance on feminism was: “I think everybody should be a feminist and every feminist should be a humanist. We’re all advocating for each other and I think anyone that’s out there advocating, even if they have a different view point from you, they’re advocating for something that’s missing in their life. So we’re all trying to make improvements anywhere we can.” For Hebard, feminism also means “We all have the opportunity to be who we really are and to fulfill our potential regardless of our orientation, our gender identity, our class, our race.” 

Although the women’s march is a global movement, it all started with local activism and grew from there. Latz thinks local activism is important because, “The past 4 years has taught everybody that you need to get out and you need to tell everybody what you think and you need to convince them to come along with you because the issues are important and the people that we elect need to support our viewpoints and we need to get people more involved in calling their legislatures. Their silence is compliance.” So get out there and participate in movements that are important to you. As Hebard said “Think globally, act locally.”