WASHINGTON — As President Donald Trump participates in inauguration festivities, national Hispanic organizations including the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Labor Council For Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), Hispanic Federation and Voto Latino will announce their plans to join Saturday's women's march.
In a press conference Friday, the groups will say they are marching to close the Latina pay gap, to fight against sexual violence against Latinas, and for paid sick and parental leave, access to reproductive health care and quality health care, as well as equal representation in government and replacing detention facilities for women and children. The march in Washington began as a protest of the election results and grew into a much larger push about women's rights.
"The challenges facing women when it comes to wage inequality and health care are even greater for Latinas, who make on average just half of what white men do. We are marching to give those women — who too often are in the shadows — the voice they deserve," said Janet Murguia, NCLR President and CEO.
Hispanic groups led by men like LCLAA will also be there in solidarity, said its leader Hector Sanchez, who besides the wage gap and sexual violence against Latina women issue which he has commissioned a study on, mentioned "the lack of representation for Latinas in corridors of power."
Sanchez who attended a Trump transition team event for Hispanic leaders, like others in attendance, lamented the lack of a Latino in the cabinet, but the Women's March will have a much different feel.
Among it's leadership is national co-chair Carmen Perez of Justice League NYC, as well as filmmaker and director Paola Mendoza who serves as creative director and activist Alida Garcia, who helped craft the march's "unity principles" on immigration. Garcia said it's rare for a high-profile national event to incorporate immigrant's rights so fully into its policy intentions.
"An authentic door was opened by these women to make sure their voices were represented and heard and the Latino issue wasn't put in the corner," Garcia said.
The presence of Latinas continues into the speakers at the event, from actress America Ferrera who supported Hillary Clinton to Erika Andiola, a nationally known DREAMer immigration activist who served as a spokesperson for Bernie Sanders and helped him craft immigration policy.
Comedian and actress Cristela Alonzo was a member of the artist's table for the march and rounding out the speakers are Sophie Cruz, a 6-year-old U.S. citizen subject of a documentary on fears her parents will be deported, and Wendy Carillo, a former radio host and journalist running for congress in California.
"I'm hopeful this will be a space for the voices of these women to permeate beyond the choir, so that all of the women coming here for their own purpose — whatever motivated them to come on a bus to DC — learn more about what immigrants are feeling," Garcia said.