Maddie Mohler hates crowds, but she hates inequality more.

That was the sign the 14-year-old carried through downtown Grand Junction on Saturday, along with nearly 1,000 people who participated in the Western Colorado Women's March.

"I'm here because I want a president that represents everyone, not just a specific group of people, someone who is here to include everyone and love everyone no matter their differences," she said.

Her dad, Andy Mohler, marched alongside her. His sign read: "My daughter, a girl worth marching for."

"I'm here to support my daughter and because all the women in my life deserve a better president than the one we have now," he said.

The reasons for marching were varied, from speaking out against sexism and discrimination to spreading love and inclusivity. Many marchers carried signs that called out specific elected officials, including President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

For Monica Herrington, the march was a chance to stand together with other people in the community who feel the same way that she does. Until the first march in 2017, Herrington hadn't participated in any marches since civil rights demonstrations in the 1960s.

"I'm so against what's happening in our government," Herrington said. "This gives people a sense of solidarity and lets them know that there are others that feel exactly like you do."

Grand Junction City Councilor Chris Kennedy read off an inclusivity proclamation at the beginning of the march.

The proclamation, authored by local groups including the Interfaith Coalition of the Grand Valley, Black Lives Matter and Hispanic Affairs Project, was rejected by a majority of the Grand Junction City Council in December.

It included statements of support for all people regardless of race, gender and sexual orientation, and recognized marginalized and oppressed groups.

Kennedy, whose term ends in May and who is not seeking re-election, urged attendees to reach out to councilors about the proclamation.

"I know the power resides in all of you to make this happen in this city," he said.

The march concluded in front of the Avalon Theatre, where speakers addressed a dwindling crowd of participants.

Barbara Michel spoke to participants about the relative newness of equal rights for women in the United States.

"We may have full civil rights as women today, but it has only come recently and it has only come through dedicated, coordinated work," she said. "Women must remain true to one another in order for us to keep the rights that we have and put them fully into practice."

Anna Stout, a candidate for Grand Junction City Council, talked about the inherent differences in men and women, right down to how their brains function.

"We need everything that every one of us brings to the table to create the vibrant community that we have and we wish to have," Stout said. "We need people of all genders, cultures, age groups and experiences working to identify and solve the challenges in this community and that we face as a society. It's the only way we will progress."

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that the Interfaith Coalition of the Grand Valley worked on the inclusivity proclamation.

Recommended for you