Multnomah County Commissioner Susheela Jayapal, the event’s keynote speaker, delivered an urgent message of inclusivity, unity, and action.
"I’m ready. I’m ready not just to resist. Not just to persist. But to insist,” said Jayapal. “To insist that we are all connected. Our fights are all connected. None of us can rise -- none of us can truly be free -- if we are not all free.”
She urged attendees to speak up and get involved.
“We must make sure that the voices of Black womxn, Brown womxn, indigenous womxn, of immigrant womxn, Muslim womxn, LGBTQ womxn -- are lifted up at every level of the political system -- as advocates, as organizers, as elected leaders, as the change makers we all are,” said Jayapal.
“On behalf of my fellow womxn electeds, let me say this: We cannot do what we need to do without you. Without your leadership. In organizing, in educating, in protesting, in marching, in holding us accountable. We rely on you. You are where the change begins.”
Additional speakers included Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore.; Grandma Aggie, the oldest member of Takelma tribe; Shannon Olive, board president of WomenFirst Transition & Referral Center; Rabbi Debra Kolodny; and Reyna Lopez, executive director of PCUN. Multnomah County Commissioner for District 1 Sharon Meieran was also in attendance.