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Women’s March Rockford celebrates differently

The event only drew in a fraction of the usual turnout due to COVID-19
Published: Jan. 23, 2021 at 5:24 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - An event that typically draws hundreds, looks feels and sounds much different as the community continues to battle COVID-19.

“Today is a little bit different for Women’s March Rockford,” said Women’s March Rockford organizer, Mary McNamara Bernsten.

For the past 4 years, hundreds of walkers, event leaders and supporters descend down the streets of Rockford, chanting in support of women’s rights. Although, this year looked much different.

“Due to COVID, and the various Women’s restrictions and people’s varying comfort levels,” said McNamara Bernsten. “Women’s March Rockford wanted to meet people where they’re at, and have kind of an open house feel.”

The event took place Saturday morning in front of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Sculpture, only drawing in a fraction of the usual turnout. Lead organizer, Mary McNamara Bernsten, said changes brought on by the pandemic only promote a stronger message of inclusivity.

“We opened up this door for women to unite to create equity in all facets of our communities,” said McNamara Bernsten.

While people don’t get to march this year, many say they still feel like they have a lot to celebrate.

“The Women’s March feels as if we’ve had a major win,” said participant, Beth McGowan. “We finally have somebody in the White House who actually has a respect for women.”

Beth McGowan participates in the march every year, and said the changes are noticeable, but there is still a lot of work to do.

“The only way you get your elected representatives to really represent you, is to continue to push,” said McGowan.

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