Rally featuring community leaders to kick of year of action aimed at getting people to run, vote and support marginalized communities.

San Jose, CA. January 18, 2018 -  Thousands of women and their allies are expected to attend the 2018 Women’s March San Jose: Hear Our Vote Saturday, January 20. The event kicks off with a march at City Hall at 11 a.m. and leads to a rally starting at noon at Arena Green East. Roughly 40,000 people showed up for the inaugural event in 2017 and volunteer organizers are planning for a solid turn out again this year.

“We hope participating in this year’s March will inspire people to get involved and make a difference in our community.” says Jenny Bradanini, Co-Lead of Women’s March San Jose. “This year has brought women closer together, and they have realized they are not alone. There is always someone standing with them, supporting them, and believing them. We will drive that momentum to the voting booth.”

An impressive array of women who are solving problems in the community will speak about the importance of getting organized and engaged. Reproductive rights, immigration, DACA, civil rights, LGBTQIA rights, social justice and the #metoo movement are just some of the themes speakers will address. There will also be a strong message of support for each other’s struggles and triumphs.

“The first Women’s March encouraged thousands of women to take seats on decision making tables in their communities. We really hope this year another wave of women and our allies find their own voice and step up to lead,” says Chandra Brooks, Women’s March San Jose community advisory committee member.

This year’s all-female speaker line-up focuses on girls and women who are changemakers in their own communities. They’ve created apps, like one that helps Dreamers find resources to go to college, provided services for survivors of gender-based violence, and created safe spaces for some of our most vulnerable populations.

“We are fortunate to live in a place where women of all ages are stepping up to address problems they see in their own communities.” says Vicky Mattson, Co-Lead of Women’s March San Jose. “We are looking forward to raising the voices of this diverse group of women leaders, and hopefully inspiring others to advocate for change.”

The March and Rally are both family-friendly events, with food, children’s activities, and a Call to Action Alley, where 45 booths will be staffed by local non-profit and grassroots organizations. Participants at the rally can register to vote, sign up to volunteer, and learn about organizations that support the rich diversity of Santa Clara County. It is strongly encouraged that people take public transit to the event.

At the Rally:
MC: Mia Amor

Maria “Mia Amor” Sanchez is a Salvadoran-American on-air personality, voice-over pro and influencer. Known for her sassy personality, Sanchez joined the Entercom family in 2014 and is currently the co-host of the morning show on Q102.1 FM - “Joey V & Mia Amor in the Morning"

Rally Speakers: (alphabetized by last name)
Gabrielle Antolovich
has been the Board President of the volunteer-run Billy DeFrank LGBTQ Community Center for the past three years, creating greater unity within the community and with allies, especially since the presidential elections.

ASHA, Artist, Educator, and Revolutionary
Asha is an 8th grade teacher in San Jose at Monroe Middle school. She is an international poet, striving to use art to create radical change. Recently on the cover of Content Magazine, Asha consistently uses her platform to voice out against injustice and to speak up for those ancestors who have been marginalized and oppressed for centuries.

Chandra Brooks, Author, Social Entrepreneur, Community, social and civil rights activist
Chandra Brooks is passionate for her community, civil rights, social justice, and improving voter outcomes and civic engagement in communities of color. She is the former Vice President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Commissioner of Santa Clara County’s Commission on the Status of Women and Girls and Chair of the Justice and Advocacy Committee that manages the Commissions oversight of Elmwood’s Women’s Correctional Facility. In 2017, Chandra launched The SocialPreneur, a purpose-driven business that prepares potential candidates to get ready to run for political office, and mentors women to own their power and leadership within their company, business and/or community.

Coalition of South Bay organizations supporting survivors of gender-based violence.

Kimberly Ellis
Kimberly Ellis revolutionized Democratic politics in California through her work as the first African-American Executive Director in Emerge America’s national network.  With more than a decade’s experience in developing, implementing and growing training programs to empower women to run for office successfully, under her leadership, Emerge California quadrupled in size, expanding its reach, effectiveness and visibility.

Today, more than half of Emerge California’s 400 alumnae currently serve in elected or appointed office.

Ketzal Gomez
Ketzal Gomez, born and raised in San José, is a Chicana community organizer who has been involved in social justice issues for over a decade. She currently works for Santa Clara County’s Office of Women’s Policy, where her work focuses on women and girls affected by the justice system, and on women and girl leadership.

Maria Gonzalez, Janitorial Worker, Sexual Assault Survivor, Co-lead of Ya Basta
Maria Gonzalez is a janitorial worker who works at Facebook, who is a survivor of workplace sexual assault and harassment, as featured in Frontline's Rape on the Night Shift episode. She is a leader in the Ya Basta movement which has passed legislation to protect women in the janitorial industry from assault and harassment in the workplace and is still working to win even greater protections. She is the mother of three successful young women, including a Dreamer, whom she is dedicated to protecting as well.

Martha Hernandez, MadeBOS Founder and CEO
Born in Oakland, CA Martha Hernández grew up in Chavinda, Michoacán, Mexico. At age 7 she began selling chicken outside her house with her mother and sisters to survive. It was a job only men did. Since then her feminism and entrepreneurial spirit was born.

Currently, Martha is the Founder and CEO of madeBOS, a smart, AI driven, career pathing platform that creates economic mobility for entry level workers in retail and adjacent sectors by empowering them to drive their own development. She has a successful track record strategizing and delivering critical human capital initiatives, technical implementations and integrations. Martha has served in several Talent Acquisition and Talent Management and Sales leadership roles for organizations such as Coro, Give Something Back, Mi Pueblo Food Centers, Inner City Advisors' Talent Management Initiative and prior to launching madeBOS, she was Save Mart Supermarkets' Director of Talent Acquisition.

Helen Kassa, Santa Clara University student, emerging social entrepreneur and humanitarian
Helen Kassa is an emerging social entrepreneur and has been involved in humanitarian and community services since she was eight-years old. She is currently a sophomore at Santa Clara University and her family heritage is Ethiopian. At age eight, she founded a humanitarian educational program here in the United States and in Ethiopia, called Giving Hope to Kids Like Me. The primary focus of her work is the utilization of education as a tool to help communities raise themselves out of poverty. She had completed several trips back to her family homeland and has adopted a K-8 school in Ethiopia with over 1200 students and has provided school supplies and teaching aids and has built a science lab.

Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca, DREAMers Roadmap Founder and CEO, 2014 White House Champion of Change
Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca is the Founder and CEO of DREAMers Roadmap, a mobile app platform that helps undocumented students navigate the necessary resources to access higher education. This is Sarahi’s latest project in a longer trajectory of activism within and for the undocumented community, which has placed her in the spotlight of continued conversations centered on national immigration policy.

Sarahi was a Champion of Change at the White House in 2014, has received 2 House of Representatives Awards, and was recently named in Forbes 30 under 30. A former undocumented student who once had to drop out of school to support her family, Sarahi’s personal experience informs her unwavering vision: to help hundreds of thousands of Latino students eliminate the barriers to success and achieve their full potential.

Aejaie Sellers  Transgender Community Advocate
Aejaie is a successful coach, mentor, and business owner. She is an active member and outspoken advocate for the Transgender community.

Van Lan Truong, Management Analyst at Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Services, long-time community activist
Van Lan Truong had a lifelong track record as a Vietnamese community organizer and advocate She is former policy Aide from Supervisor Cindy Chavez and has extensive knowledge in working with the Vietnamese Community in the U.S., having served as a co-founder of the National Congress of Vietnamese Americans and founder of the Vietnamese American Women’s League of Massachusetts.  She is passionate about organizing the Vietnamese community in all aspects for social change and social justice.  

Sameena Usman, Government Relations Coordinator, Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
Sameena Usman serves as the Government Relations Coordinator for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, San Francisco Bay Area office, where she works with elected officials in advocating for impactful legislation, connects them with their constituents, and provides information about the Bay Area Muslim community and their concerns - including civil rights issues.  Through her work, she actively builds bridges with various communities and conducts interfaith dialogue. 

Aisha Wahab, Progressive Change Agent in Government, Business, Non-Profit, & Community. Proud Millennial, Author, Organizer & Human
Aisha Wahab is a dynamic individual with experience in policy, technology, business, international relations and local community work. A talented woman who is at the intersection of social impact, technology, and community organizing. Her broad-based experience has allowed her to serve in a variety of different leadership positions which have allowed her to use her skills and influence a multitude of projects for both public, private and non-profit industries.

Sophia Yen, MD MPH, CEO and Co-Founder of PandiaHealth, #reprorights advocate
Sophia Yen, MD MPH is CEO and Co-Founder of PandiaHealth, which brings prescription birth control to women wherever they have internet and a mailbox. She has been a #reprorights advocate and feminist since 13 years old and founded the Silver Ribbon Campaign to Trust Women and co-founded SheHeroes.org. She grew up in the Bay Area, graduated MIT, UCSF Medical school. UC Berkeley with an MPH. Mother of 2 strong, smart, activist daughters and wife to a feminist husband.

Young leaders from QueenHype and Downtown College Prep’s RISE UP group

Performers include Monica Pasqual, DJ Andre, Blimes Brixton, Akoma Arts, and Ishmeet Narula.

About Women’s March San Jose
Women’s March San Jose operates as a grassroots non-profit organization that is part of a national movement to unify and empower everyone who stands for human rights, civil liberties and social justice for all.  We stand together in solidarity for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health and our families - - recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.

FOR MEDIA: B-roll and images from 2017 marches, impact statements for 2018 and other materials are available. Please register for press credentials for access to on-site press facilities.

Media inquiries: colleen@womensmarchbayarea.org

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