By Greg Hernandez
Center CEO Lorri L. Jean stood on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall before a crowd of more than 500,000 people on Saturday and led them in a chant: “Be the storm!”
“Until we see the change we need in Washington, it is our duty, it is our obligation, to do much more than simply hunker down and weather the storm,” Jean said during her rousing speech. “We must be the storm!”
Fueled by the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, the second Women’s March Los Angeles was focused on turning out the vote and bringing attention to the urgency of preparing for the November midterm elections.
Jean was among the leaders and famous faces who who took the stage during a three-hour rally that followed the march which began at Pershing Square and wound up at City Hall. She had a powerful message about why so many had gathered together a year after the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump.
“We are marching for our country and our world,” Jean said. “We are marching for truth, for integrity, for treating our fellow human beings with dignity and respect. We have spent the last year in fury and resisting the leadership of those who do not believe in truth. Who do not believe in compassion, who do not understand that a strong nation requires liberty and justice for all.”
Jean reminded the massive crowd jammed into the streets of downtown Los Angeles of how the LGBT community and others have suffered “grave injustices” but have persevered over formidable odds.
“Perhaps the most important lesson of all is that change does not happen on its own,” she said. “It happens because we make it happen. And if there was ever a time for us to come together and make the change our country needs, it’s now.”
Originally published January 2018