Organizers of the Women’s March in Humboldt County, California, announced Friday that they have canceled the local Jan. 19 event because the marchers are overwhelmingly white.
In a Facebook statement, the group said it opted to nix the third annual march “after many conversations between local social-change organizations and supporters of the march,” saying they would work on how to “broaden representation in the organizing committee.”
“Up to this point, the participants have been overwhelmingly white, lacking representation from several perspectives in our community,” said the statement. “Instead of pushing forward with crucial voices absent, the organizing team will take time for more outreach.”
The Humboldt County group said it was still interested in holding an event in March on International Women’s Day.
Some followers on Facebook said they were disappointed in the decision.
“I was saddened to hear that the March is off for 1/19,” said David Holper. “Isn’t there still time to reach out to minority groups and make this event more inclusive? I’d be happy to help.”
Others pointed out that the Northern California community of about 137,000, located near the Oregon border, is predominantly white.
Census Bureau data from July showed that the county was about 74 percent non-Hispanic white, 12 percent Hispanic, 6 percent Native American, 2 percent Asian, and 1 percent black.
“I was appalled to be honest,” said Amy Sawyer Long. “I understand wanting a diverse group. However, we live in a predominantly white area … not to mention how is it beneficial to cancel? No matter the race people still want their voices heard.”
The national Women’s March is scheduled to hold Jan. 19 its #WomensWave rally in D.C., while some state and local sister organizations are also holding marches.
Also organizing events that day are other women’s groups such as March On and the Women’s March Alliance, which have formed as alternatives to the Women’s March over anti-Semitism concerns. The four national co-chairs of the Women’s March have denied allegations of anti-Semitism.