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A Weekend Summit, March To Honor Black Women In San Diego

March for Black Women San Diego co-organizers Syra Evans (left) and Ahjahnae Sellers (right) lead participants through Southeastern San Diego at the group's 2018 event.
Crystal Page
March for Black Women San Diego co-organizers Syra Evans (left) and Ahjahnae Sellers (right) lead participants through Southeastern San Diego at the group's 2018 event.

March 8 marks International Women’s Day, but this weekend celebrates black women in San Diego. The grassroots organization March for Black Women San Diego is hosting a summit on Saturday and a march on Sunday.

The Black Womxn Save My Life summit will feature panels and discussions around four topics local African-American women identified as pressing issues that need to be addressed. They include physical abuse, the large population of black women behind bars and the threat of deportation to black immigrants, health equity and economic justice.

The following day's rally and march will be a celebration of unity but also a call for respect.

Co-organizer Kelsey Daniels said while there are other female-focused events and marches, it was important to create one specifically for black women.

“I think there is a certain importance in wholeness and being able to acknowledge the wholeness or complexity of yourself, and not just carve yourself out as, 'Oh, I’m a woman today' or 'I’m marching for black things today.’ You know, 'Today I’m marching for all of myself," Daniels said in a phone interview.

She said the group hosted its first march in 2018, but added the summit this year to provide time and space for discussions to make progress on the four topics, which the group's website identifies as demands.

"We're going to actually be having an interactive workshop on negotiating your worth and learning how to advocate for yourself in the workplace," Daniels said. "We're going to have more of an open forum talking about health care issues and really being solutions-based and kind of coming up with action items."

The summit at Skyline Hills library is listed as a closed event for "Black Womxn/Non-binary Femmes," according to an online invitation.

“We particularly thought it was really important to create a space for us to talk about these things openly and not feel that we have to sugarcoat our particular experiences by making it more relatable for others," Daniels said.

Participants of all backgrounds may join the Sunday rally and march through Southeastern San Diego, which is kid-friendly.

That event will begin at Euclid and Logan avenues at 10 a.m. It will end at Kennedy Neighborhood Park on Ocean View Boulevard. The program will feature passionate and accomplished but lesser-known black female speakers in order to give them a platform, Daniels said. Political banners are not welcome at the event, she added.

A Weekend Summit, March To Honor Black Women In San Diego
While there are other female-focused events and marches, an event co-organizer said it was important to create one specifically for black women. You can hear this story and other local news every morning by subscribing to San Diego Stories, KPBS’ daily news podcast. Subscribe via iTunes, Google Play or your favorite podcatcher.

Corrected:
Editor's note: This story has been updated.