The Slatest

Women’s March in California Canceled Over Fear it Would Be “Overwhelmingly White”

A demonstrator chants during the Women's March on Washington January 21, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
A demonstrator chants during the Women’s March on Washington January 21, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
ZACH GIBSON/Getty Images

A Women’s March that was due to take place in early 2019 in Northern California has been canceled because organizers feared it would not be diverse enough. The march was scheduled to take place in the town of Eureka, in Humboldt County on January 19. “Up to this point, the participants have been overwhelmingly white, lacking representation from several perspectives in our community,” according to a statement posted on Facebook. “Instead of pushing forward with crucial voices absent, the organizing team will take time for more outreach.”

The group said it was “exploring holding an event in March to celebrate International Women’s Day,” which is on March 8. “Our goal is that planning will continue and we will be successful in creating an event that will build power and community engagement through connection between women that seek to improve the lives of all in our community,” according to the statement.

Some on social media quickly criticized the decision, noting that Humboldt County is overwhelmingly white. According to Census data, the county is more than 74 percent “white alone, not Hispanic or Latino,” according to the Times-Standard, a local paper.

This is hardly the first time that the Women’s March movement “has faced questions about its racial makeup and inclusiveness,” notes the Washington Post. There was lots of talk about race and whether minority women were taken into account in the run-up to the inaugural march in 2017. More recently, there has been controversy regarding its leadership and ties with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Amid the controversy, the Chicago chapter also canceled its planned march, citing the high cost of the event.