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Four Years On, Youth Leading ID Women's March

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Monday, January 18, 2021   

BOISE, Idaho -- Four years after the original Women's March, the day after the last presidential inauguration, young women in Idaho are taking the reins this year.

The event is taking place online because of the pandemic and will feature speeches from young people.

Petra Hoffman, a 15-year-old student at Boise High School and climate activist who helped organize the march, noted this year, it's known as the Idaho "Womxn's" March to include a diverse group of people.

"The organizing team's a lot younger, which I think just breeds inclusivity in a lot of ways," Hoffman explained. "The actual 'x' inclusion is just a separation of the word woman from man and it includes nonbinary people in that definition, as well as transgender women."

The March will be live-streamed on Saturday starting at 3:30 p.m. It will feature state legislators, artists and students speaking about the future of women's advocacy.

Hoffman said she focuses on the issue of climate change because it disproportionately affects women. She's been involved with Extinction Rebellion Boise and the Idaho Climate Justice League.

She's also helped organize a protest at Chase Bank in Boise because of its investments in fossil fuels, and drafted a proposal for the Boise School District to be carbon-neutral in its electricity use by 2025.

Hoffman laid out her evolution as a climate activist.

"I went from a place where I was solely focusing on trying to teach people and educate people and educate myself, to a place where I was trying to, like, fight for what I believed in, to a place where I was trying to understand policy and the school board," Hoffman outlined.

Fatuma Mnongerwa, coordinator for the New American Voters Campaign, is also speaking at the march. She's a former refugee who came from Kenya in 2005 and is the first woman in her family to graduate from college.

In 2020, she helped coordinate the New American Voters Campaign to help newly naturalized citizens in Idaho cast their ballots. She said young women need to be heard.

"We're the coming generation," Mnongerwa asserted. "We'll be here longer, and just basically starting our footsteps and starting to put things in place before we don't get the chance to or before we get older is very important."


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