January 20, 2017

Why We March — A Reflection from Our Founder


R. Christine Hershey, the founder of Hershey Cause Communications, is known as a pioneer in the world of cause communications and cause marketing, and as a champion for people and organizations whose work is focused on the social good. But at her core, Chris is an activist, someone who has never been afraid to fight for change by speaking truth to power, and she’s never shied away from a confrontation when equality and justice were on the line. Below is a dispatch she sent us on the go, as she travels to DC to once more jump into the fray by joining the hundreds of thousands who will march in the Nation’s Capitol this Saturday in support of the protecting rights of people who have been hurtfully attacked and maligned and whose rights may well be threatened by the incoming administration.

We’re so inspired by Chris’s leadership, and we’re so glad that she, her partner Susi and daughter Katie will be in DC representing us. We’ll be marching here in LA, too, and we hope to see you out in the community!

Susi and I have marched our whole lives. Even before we met each other and many times since over our 37 years together. We have marched to celebrate our diversity and renew the spirit of democracy. We have marched to honor the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us. And we have marched to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. Now, we march again so that our progress will not be thwarted by bigotry.

Wherever you are, wherever you call home, we hope you will join us.

Here is a brief history of some of the Marches we’ve participated in:

July 4, 1970
Honor America Day — During a period of contentiousness over the U.S. military involvement in Vietnam, Bob Hope helped to coordinate a rally intended to “show Americans can have a good time together despite their differences.” On July 4, 1970, “Honor America Day” was held in Washington, D.C. The day was intended to be non-partisan but was interpreted by many as a pro-war rally and was marred by anti-war demonstrators.

Summer 1978
California Proposition 6 was an initiative on the California State ballot on November 7, 1978, and was more commonly known as The Briggs Initiative. It was sponsored by John Briggs, a conservative state legislator from Orange County. The failed initiative would have banned gays and lesbians, and possibly anyone who supported gay rights, from working in California’s public schools. The Briggs Initiative was the first failure in a movement that started with the successful campaign headed by Anita Bryant and her organization Save Our Children in Dade County, Florida, to repeal a local gay rights ordinance.

October 11, 1987
The Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights was a large political rally that took place in Washington, D.C., on October 11, 1987. Its success, size, scope, and historical importance have led to it being called, “The Great March”. It marked the first national coverage of ACT UP, with AIDS activists prominent in the main march as well as the civil disobedience actions at the Supreme Court.

April 25, 1993
The March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation was a large political rally that took place in Washington, D.C., on April 25, 1993. Organizers estimated that 1 million attended the March. The D.C. Police Department put the number at more than 1 million. The National Park Service estimated attendance at 300,000, but their figure attracted so much negative attention that it shortly thereafter stopped issuing attendance estimates for similar events.

November 2002
Protests against Proposition 8 took place in California starting in November 2008. These included prominent protests against the Roman Catholic church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), which collaboratively campaigned in favor of California’s Proposition 8 through volunteer and financial support for the measure. The proposition was a voter referendum that amended the state constitution to recognize marriage only as being between one man and one woman, thus banning same-sex marriage, which was legal in the state following a May 2008 California Supreme Court case.

January 21, 2017
The Women’s March in Washington DC
The rhetoric of the past election cycle by the incoming administration has insulted and threatened many of us – immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault and so many others.

This Saturday in DC, we will be holding all these people in our hearts as we march for hope to prevail over hate.

Click here to watch a FB live interview Chris did about what the march means to her.

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