Minnesota Women's March Leader, 'We are dedicated to make our spaces inclusive and safe.'

Board Chair Jammi Hansen Blair responds to controversy over national figures associations with Louis Farrakhan

Paul and Jordana
January 18, 2019 - 5:49 pm

USA Today

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The national organizers of the Women’s March are facing allegations of anti-Semitism. Locally, Women’s March Minnesota Board Chair Jammi Hansen Blair says the local march is separate from the national organization.

“We are an independent standalone nonprofit in Minnesota that concerns ourself with what is best for Minnesota.”

“We are dedicated to make our spaces inclusive and safe and celebrate all women and gender non-identifying people,” Blair told Paul and Jordana.

When asked about the allegations of anti-Semitism at the national level, Blair said they’ve done a lot of listening.

“We’ve been in conversation over the course of the year with both Women’s March, Inc. and March On which are the two national organizations,” she said, “as well as women throughout all of Minnesota and Jewish women who have come to us with their concerns, with not feeling safe, with really wanting us to do more and to really walk our talk about being an intersectional movement.”

Jordana asked if the local organization had considered changing their name to further distance themselves from the national controversy.

“After this march we’re going to be hosting community conversations on what that looks like and really what is best for Minnesota,” Blair said, “We are always open for feedback and critique and for ideas and for people to come together around how we can do this work together.”

Asked about the source of the controversy – association with Louis Farrakhan, who’s made anti-Semitic comments – Blair said their organization has no room for those sentiments.

“We denounce his language, we denounce his speech, we denounce his hate, we denounce his ideas,” she told Paul and Jordana, “That is absolutely something that does not represent us, it does not represent the movement we believe in, and it does not represent any of the ways that we respect people in our work.”

Blair wants their Saturday march to be a positive event.

“Tomorrow is all about inspiration and celebration for us,” she said, “It’s about continuing our work in the fight for equality, equity and justice in Minnesota.”

Hear the entire interview:

 

 

 

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