Annual March of the Isms Friday

by Cory KeaseyStaff Writer

Friday, March 27 will mark the sixth annual March of the Isms, a march and rally to advocate awareness of the destructive nature of racism, sexism, ageism and homophobia. This year’s march begins at 3:30 p.m.

The March of the Isms was first organized by Alumni Bobby Nalean and Omar Padilla. Walter Lain, assistant dean of multicultural and international affairs.

Lain, who is coordinating the event, said that the main focus of this event is to remember and enact the ideals that Martin Luther King Jr. instilled 40 years ago. Lain has worked on the march in the past and is thrilled with the numbers that come out in support.

“When this first started, we had maybe a hundred people, and then the second year we had two hundred people,” Lain said. “Then last year we had over four hundred people.”

Lain also said that many students feel that this is one of their favorite Simpson College experiences. Many underclassmen are taking part in this event.

Freshman Roxanne Vance helped line up people to speak at the event.

“At first I was just asked to do it, but then I realized how great an opportunity this was,” Vance said. “I think this is really cool because we need everyone to realize that even though in this time where people have become very accepting, these things are still happening.

Vance also said that she feels that there are great performances lined up. She said one of the difficult parts has been trying to get people to speak at the event who have not previously done it.

“With this being the sixth year, it is getting harder to have faculty members who haven’t spoken,” Vance said.

Sophomore Armando C. Andrade, who has participated in and helped to coordinate the march, said it sparked his interest last year.

“Go to the march,” Andrade said. “It has such a deep meaning that it should be important to each individual, and all should attend. If we can change for the better, then so can the world. It just takes time and effort.”

Andrade also said he feels that there will be an excellent turnout this year.

While the march is the main attraction, there are also other events that are going on during the same time with similar messages.

One of these is known as the Clothesline Project. This project, which is coordinated by senior Josie Rundlett, is a demonstration protesting violence against women. It is made up of T-shirts that hang on clotheslines all over Simpson. These T-shirts are designed by Simpson students at various sessions prior to the display of the project.

The shirts help show people who are suffering in silence that there is support for them. Since the shirts are all over campus, they are also intended to serve as conversation starters and force people to see the opposition to violence against women.

“This is the third year of the project, and I started it in 2007 as part of the Citizenship and Social Justice class with Dr. Kedron Bardwell [assistant professor of social sciences],” Rundlett said. “It was a project that had to deal with something to help educate the campus about a global social problem, and violence against women is what was chosen. “The Vagina Monologues,” The Clothesline Project and The March to End the Isms are all social awareness projects. It works well that this year they all fall on the same weekend, a tradition that I hope can continue.”