A large crowd took to downtown Rockford to participate in the city’s 4th annual Women’s March.
It was one of many similar events that happened all across the country today.
“Women’s March Rockford brings together a grassroots collective of many, many groups that are working towards social justice in Rockford,” said event organizer Alicia Neubauer.
Neubauer is one of several women who helped set-up the march. She believes it helps raise awareness for issues that don’t get talked about enough.
She says one of those issues is violence against women, and encouraged survivors to talk to others about their stories.
“We are a trauma informed community. Trauma is behind so many of our crimes. Trauma is behind so much of our poverty. Trauma is behind so much of our problems. We need to come together and heal,” Neubauer said.
Rockford resident Tara Harris came to the march for the first time this year. She says hearing other women share their stories was inspiring.
“(It’s inspiring) having victims come out and talk and open up that dialogue and show that it’s happening in our community,” Harris said.
Harris is passionate about bringing the Family Peace Center to Rockford, and has been working with the city on that project. She was encouraged to see other women taking action.
“To see people walk the walk and not just talk the talk. They’re ready to put their boots to the ground and do something about this issue and come up with solutions,” Harris said.
Congresswoman Cheri Bustos and Mayor Tom McNamara were among those who braved frigid temperatures to participate in the march.
Addressing the crowd, McNamara said that the city is expected to announce the location for the Family Peace Center next week.