riverside-gardens-park-0917162A gathering to reaffirm Red Bank’s “inclusiveness and tolerance” is planned at Riverside Gardens Park the day after the Trump inauguration. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[REPOSTING OF JANUARY 9 ARTICLE, with additional details about who’s speaking.]


HOT-TOPIC_03A group of Red Bank-area women have obtained an OK to hold an open-air rally for human rights and other concerns one day after the Trump inauguration.

The newly formed group, called the Greater Red Bank Women’s Initiative, won approval Monday from the borough government’s special events committee to hold a rally in Riverside Gardens Park on Saturday, January 21, according to Ellen Herman, one of the organizers.

The event, slated to coincide with a large-scale Women’s March on Washington and other rallies planned for the same day across the United States, is to be “nonpartisan and nonpolitical,” said Herman, who founded the group with fellow borough resident Suellen Sims.

“It will be about human rights and dignity, respect, and feeling safe in the place where you live,” Herman told redbankgreen.

The group, which has about 24 members from Red Bank and nearby towns and is growing daily, was born out of the “helpless” feeling women on both sides of the presidential election felt in its aftermath, Herman said.

Plans for the event, scheduled to run from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., include a performance by a children’s choir and remarks by a still-emerging lineup of speakers who are being asked to keep their remarks nonpartisan, she said.

The event is envisioned as an affirmation of the “inclusiveness and tolerance we feel Red Bank stands for,” Herman said.

From a post on the group’s Facebook page:

We envision the Rally as a celebration of the qualities that have made the greater Red Bank area unique and welcoming . Our only agenda on this day is to bring out the best in each and every one of us. We believe that even a gathering such as this, regardless of size, can make a difference and also make each of us feel that we have done something of value by putting a voice to our passions..

Here’s the updated lineup of events, according to co-organizer Suellen Sims:

The program will begin with Chelsea Palermo singing the National Anthem. Speakers include Jess Naulty, Senior Pastor of United Methodist Church speaking about Climate Change; Patrick Julu, on his Refugee Story; Alexia Gates, a Red Bank Middle School student; Gilda Rogers on the Legacy of T. Thomas Fortune and what it means for the cultural life of all of Red Bank; and Rubina Tareen on the Muslim-American Experience. Lots of music, very family friendly.