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Women's Coalition gears up for event concluding Women's History Month

For four days, students will gather on each of ASU's campuses to participate in marches celebrating women

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"" Illustration published on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019.

Students are slated to participate in a series of marches celebrating Women's History Month and outstanding female leaders from all four campuses starting Sunday evening. 

The "Badass Women's March" is the signature event concluding the Women's Coalition's celebration of Women's History Month and is meant to highlight women in the school community who have demanded change or have persisted through obstacles while attending ASU. 

The marches are on each of ASU's four campuses at 5 p.m. beginning Sunday on the Tempe campus and ending Wednesday on the Polytechnic campus. The marches are in place of a block party hosted by the Women's Coalition that typically closes out the month of March. 

"We are just celebrating women through these marches," said Mastaani Qureshi, a co-president of the Women's Coalition. "We will also have a platform on the marches about our demands, including our number one demand, the CAARE Center."

The Campus Assault Advocacy, Resources and Education Center, proposed by Sun Devils Against Sexual Assault and co-signed by the Women's Coalition and other student organizations, is also known as the "rape crisis center" and would employ nine full-time "advocates" dedicated to supporting people who have experienced sexual assault, intimate partner violence and stalking. 

The proposal says the CAARE Center would be "an independent, confidential office responsible for the prevention, training, advocacy and healing related to sexual harassment, sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking for students, faculty, and staff at ASU."

Iterations of the CAARE Center proposal have been asked and demanded for in the past but not with mobilized activity, Qureshi said. 

"The marches are also to put pressure on the ASU administration for the CAARE Center," said Qureshi, who is a junior studying history and justice studies. "There hasn't been any mobilized activity so far for the CAARE Center ... so that's something we're incorporating in the march. People marching for the CAARE Center, even though it's technically not a protest."

Each march has a different set of guest speakers. Aniyah Braveboy, president of the Black African Coalition is set to speak at the Tempe march. Braveboy's speech will highlight the inequalities Black women face at ASU. 

Sunday's march on the Tempe campus will also include a moment of silence, in partnership with the Asian/Asian Pacific American Students' Coalition, for victims of the Atlanta spa shootings on March 16. 

On the Downtown Phoenix campus, Assistant Vice President for the Office of Government and Community Relations Kenja Hassan will speak about gratitude, fortitude and luck, according to a social media post advertising the march on Monday alongside Alexia Isais. 

Other speakers include Maryam Hassanein, who will share her experience with Arab culture and the ways it perpetuates misogynistic ideals on Tuesday at the West campus. At the Polytechnic march on Wednesday, Naruro Hassan will speak about the strengths and struggles of a refugee student at ASU. 

Various clubs and multicultural coalitions will be present at the marches, tabling for each of their respective causes. Attendees will leave with free shirts, stickers and menstrual products.

Having a march on each of the four campuses allows the Women's Coalition and other partnering organizations to connect with constituents. 

"There's always a lack of connection," Qureshi said. "We just want to go there, connect with our community and tell our women that we exist and to please use us as a resource."

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Piper HansenManaging Editor

Piper Hansen is a digital managing editor at The State Press. She is a reporting intern at the Arizona Capitol Times. Outside the newsroom, you can find her backpacking in Kentucky or working at summer camp.

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