Celebrating Richmond’s women

Mayor Gayle McLaughlin during her State of the City address earlier this year.

Mayor Gayle McLaughlin during her State of the City address earlier this year.

Richmond has storied history of its women banding together, dating to World War II when female workers, dubbed “Rosies,” staffed manufacturing plants in town.

That solidarity among women is scheduled to be on display tomorrow at the Third Annual “Women in Solidarity: Healing our Beloved Community/Mujeres in Solidaridad: Sanando Nuestra Querida Comunidad” event at Dejean Middle School from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“There is a long legacy of strong women building this community,” said Marilyn Langlois, a community advocate in Mayor Gayle McLaughlin’s office.

The featured keynote speaker will be Lakota Harden, a longtime local Native American activist and teacher. The program will also feature performances by the West African Music and Dance Ensemble of Richmond’s East Bay Center for Performing Arts and the Kennedy High School Polynesian Dancers.

Betty Reid Soskin, a National Parks ranger and former worker at the WWII shipyards, will also speak at the event.

More than 30 local organizations sponsor the event, which was begun by McLaughlin in 2008.

Admission is free, and lunch and childcare will be provided.

About 250 people are expected to turn out.

“This event is in recognition that we have Martin Luther King’s vision of a beloved community here in Richmond,” Langlois said. “We don’t always see it. It can be blurred, but it is always there.”

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