A gathering of women from all ethnic and faith backgrounds hosted a special International Women’s Day program on March 8 at Milwaukee City Hall.

The program launched the traveling art exhibit, “Women Against Hate United By Love,” with the purpose to align women and partnering organizations throughout Wisconsin to increase awareness, building communities, and creating change.

“Hate divides. It is the ultimate toxin. The sicknesses it spawns—bigotry, intolerance, racism—affect everyone in our country. Women most of all,” said activist and artist Kelly Parks Snider in a statement. “But hate also unites. It bonds us together, we find each other, we grow louder, and reach a pitch that must be heard.”

Using the art exhibition as a platform for gathering and discussion, these local partners will assist in arranging community events for issuing a call to action. Through sponsored workshops and panel discussions “Women Against Hate United By Love” will allow attendees the opportunity to ask questions, engage in community conversation, and learn how to become involved.

Speakers at the Milwaukee event who shared their heartfelt experiences included Markasa Tucker, Wisconsin Voices; Guadalupe Romero, Voces De La Frontera’ Kathy Flores, Diverse and Resilient; Livia Rowell, GenderQueer for Milwaukee; Janan Najeeb, Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition; Jackie Velasquez, Midwest Environmental Advocates, and Tammie Xiong, Hmong American Women Association. A special ethnic Hmong dance was presented that featured a bilingual message of hope.

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Lee Matz