San Jose March and Rally: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday, January 21st

Rally and Speakers at Cesar Chavez Plaza at 12 p.m.

SAN JOSE, Calif. – January 17, 2017 – The Women’s March Bay Area, San Jose today announces its initial slate of speakers and performers for the rally taking place on Saturday, January 21 at 12 p.m. Marchers will convene at San Jose City Hall at 10 a.m. and start the .7 mile procession at 11 a.m. ending at Cesar Chavez Plaza at 12 p.m. for a peaceful rally. The event will end with a public oath at 3 p.m.

The all-volunteer organization is part of the 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.

“We march together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us,” said Jenny Branadini, Lead of Women’s March Bay Area, San Jose. “We have built a panel of speakers who have each worked tirelessly on behalf of the communities and values we represent, and we invite our community to stand with us and with the global movement the Women’s March has become.”

The non-partisan Women's March Bay Area is a 100% volunteer effort and contributions cover direct expenses incurred producing the marches.

For more information about the San Jose or other Bay Area marches, visit: or follow @womensmarchbayarea on Facebook and Instagram or @wmbayarea Twitter and Snapchat. Images, logos and more are available at

About the Speakers

Aileen Casanave has worked tirelessly to promote diversity, global inclusion, social justice and public interest in the community – in the legal sector in particular – having developed numerous diversity and mentoring programs in and out of the workplace at Lockheed Martin, Sun Microsystems and TIBCO Software Inc. She serves on multiple boards, including the Public Interest and Social Justice Law Board at Santa Clara Law School, Santa Clara County Black Lawyers Association, California Association of Black Lawyers, Santa Clara County Bar Association and the Diversity & Inclusion Committee of the Association of Corporate Counsel's San Francisco Bay Area chapter.

Two-term San Jose City Council member Cindy Chavez has built a strong reputation as an advocate improving San Jose’s quality of life. She was a leader in developing cutting-edge community-based programs to address crime, education, small business development and neighborhood revitalization. As the Executive Officer of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council and Executive Director of Working Partnerships USA, she has built new collaborations to create innovative policy that improves the lives of working families throughout Silicon Valley. Few public leaders can count the kind of successes that Chavez achieved early in her public service: ground-breaking health insurance for Santa Clara County’s children, which served as a national model; unprecedented construction of diverse housing; and a genuine city-schools partnership in downtown San Jose.

Maha Elgenaidi is the founder of ING (Islamic Networks Group), author of training handbooks on outreach for American Muslims and of training seminars for public institutions on developing cultural competency with the American Muslim community. A senior fellow of the American Leadership Forum and recently named one of San Jose Business Journal’s Women of Influence, Maha has won numerous civil rights awards, including the “Civil Rights Leadership Award” from the California Association of Human Relations Organizations and the “Citizen of the Year” award from the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. She earned a master’s degree in Religious Studies from Stanford University, and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Economics from the American University in Cairo.

Shanta Franco-Clausen currently serves as the active Co-Chair of the Crime and Violence Committee for the Commission on the Status of Women, championing the fight against the many different violations on women. She sits on the CSW “Strong Girlts, Strong Women” Conference Committee, offering networking, leadership, discussion panels, and more for High School girls. She is the current Chair of Member Outreach; on the Board of Directors for DAWN (Democratic Activist for Women Now); and is the Founder and President of PLAYNICE Non-Profit Organization, teaching the importance of acceptance, tolerance and guidance to build stronger communities. She bridges different outreach centers, mentors young women in a Women's Circle, and is deeply rooted in the community.

Ash Kalra,  the first Indian-American elected to the San Jose City Council, currently represents District 2 and has fought against cuts to public safety, standing in favor of restoring the SJPD burglary unit and Violent Crimes Enforcement Team; worked to provide incentives for companies to locate and grow in San Jose; and has championed more transit options including the BART to Silicon Valley extension. Ash has been one of the foremost advocates of clean energy and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels while preserving our open spaces and protecting our surrounding habitat.

Kirsten Keith, former immigration/civil rights attorney, has volunteered with community organizations throughout San Mateo County for over twenty years. She currently serves on the boards of BAWSCA, the Service League, JobTrain and CORA - Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse. She was elected President for two consecutive years by fellow Commissioners while serving on the San Mateo County Commission on the Status of Women, where she served for eight years.

Father Jon Pedigo has been awarded the 2008 Immigrant Advocate of the Year by SIREN (Services, Immigrants, Rights and Education Network), the 2010 Director’s Award from the Human Relations Commission of Santa Clara County, the Cesar 2013 Chavez Social Justice Award from American Muslim Voice and the 2014 Cesar E. Chavez Si Se Puede Award by the Chavez Family Vision Foundation. He is the Chair of the Inter-Faith Council on Economics and Justice Board and a 2012 Rockwood Fellow for Immigrant Leaders in California.

Raul Peralez, a lifelong resident of San José, and newly elected representative for Council District 3, left his career with the San Jose Police Department, becoming the first active duty officer in the history of San José to be elected into public office. Raul is also a substitute high school and alternative education teacher, working with students in the juvenile justice system; a long-time volunteer with Big Brothers-Big Sisters of the Bay Area and Silicon Valley FACES Camp Everytown; and a mentor for homeless youth with Stand Up For Kids Silicon Valley. He has received numerous awards and recognitions for his work with youth and commitment to community, including the YMCA Project Cornerstone Adult Role Model of the Year and an Emerging Leader recognition from Silicon Valley Latino magazine.

Brent Turner is a community activist whose efforts have included volunteer work for the homeless, children’s issues, women's rights, and general civil rights. He was instrumental in the creation of the San Francisco County Voting Systems Task Force and has been a director of communications for Open Voting Consortium. Recognized as a ground breaking activist for sustainability, Turner dedicates himself to local, state and federal election issues. He currently works with National Association of Voting Officials and organizes for Democracy Spring.

Viera Whye is a co-founder and the Producing Artistic Director for Tabia African American Theatre Ensemble. She was selected as one of the Women of Color in Technology "Who Make A Difference" by US Black Engineer Magazine. NCBW advocates on behalf of women of color through national and local actions and strategic alliances that promote its national and international agendas on leadership development and on gender equity in health, education, and economic development.

Ken Yeager, as a supervisor, is committed to the health and well-being of the residents of Santa Clara County. Ken serves as the Chair of the Board of Supervisors’ Health and Hospital Committee.  He is also the Chair of the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) Health and Human Services Committee and a member of the First 5 Commission of Santa Clara County. He is a strong supporter of public health, with a particular interest in maintaining strong safety net programs. He is also a champion for preventive health measures such as efforts to fight the obesity epidemic. A long-time advocate for expanding parks and trails throughout the County, Ken believes that outdoor spaces provide effective incentives for increasing physical activity. Ken is the first openly gay elected official in Santa Clara County.