Locals march to show ‘women matter too’

Sue Morris, of Taneytown, said she saw a Facebook post Saturday night about the Carroll County Women’s March to take place in Westminster the next day. She made a snap decision to attend and was joined by her daughter-in-law and two granddaughters from Hanover, Pennsylvania.

“Last year at this time I wanted to march and would have if it hadn’t been so far away,” Morris said. “There are so many issues and I think they should all be addressed. But gender and equality is important to me because I have a son who is gay.”


Morris’ daughter-in-law Terra brought her daughters.

“I think it is important for them to be able to speak out and have their own opinions about things and not be judged or degraded for it, for whatever they might think is right for them,” she said. “Women matter, too.”

Over 300 women, men and children of all ages gathered on Sunday in front of Jeanniebird Baking Co. in Westminster, marching from 42 W. Main St. to 233 E. Main St. and back again.

Uniontown resident, Pam Zappardino said she and others from the Carroll Community Action Network (Carroll CAN) — the group sponsoring the march — have had a presence on Main Street every Saturday since last year’s march.

“I am out here today because I think it’s important that we not only march in Washington — and I was in Baltimore yesterday, too — but we march in our local communities as well because all issues are local issues that we need to be working on in our own communities,” Zappardino said. “We’d like to see Carroll County be an inclusive place for everyone to live. I would love to see this county be very welcoming of immigrants, of people of all religions, of people of all gender identities, of people of all races. There is no reason why we can’t be one big beautiful community and that includes all political persuasions.”

Raquel Walsh, the current leader of Carroll CAN, said the march celebrates the anniversary of the first Women’s March on Jan. 21, 2017.

“I am proud to be marching for equality for all women — black women, brown women, white women, poor women, gay women, trans women, disabled women,” Walsh said. “We all deserve a voice in our community, and we all deserve opportunities that have been denied to these groups and more for far too long.”

According to Walsh, Carroll CAN began in November of 2016 as a small group, spurred to action after the 2016 elections. The group has grown but continues to be committed to supporting diversity, equality, and inclusivity.

“At our monthly meetings [in various locations across the county] we discuss national, state, and local issues important to us and how we want to address those issues,” Walsh said. “We also host candidates for public office.”

Walsh said members may be asked to join in weekly calls to action that may include calling or writing representatives, attending meetings or signing petitions.

“We tend to lean more progressive, but we do have a diverse group of people who are members of our group and we welcome all,” she said when asked about political leanings.

Ian Misner, of Westminster, waited on the sidewalk with his wife, Stefanie, and their two daughters, ages 4 and 6, as cars passing by tooted their horns in support.

“I’m the only man in my family and as a white male it is important for me to be part of the resistance,” Misner said. “I don’t agree with things that are going on right now and I’d like a better future for my children. I feel there’s a large majority of the country that’s not being heard. We need to bring people together and bring actual ideas to the table as one country.”

Westminster residents Mary and Gary Honeman agreed.


Standing next to his wife, Gary Honeman said: “When you think about it, women don’t get equal pay often for equal work and we see that at all levels, in my opinion, so I am here to support gender equality. The group I am pretty active with [Carroll Citizens for Racial Equality] is an advocacy group for all marginalized populations, so I am here on a personal level, a professional level and for the community.”

For Sally Adams, of Westminster, it was a chance to make up for missing last year’s march in Washington.

“This is the first time I’ve been compelled to do anything over any issues since the ’60s,” she said.

Signs were raised high and cheers went up each time a car honked to show support. The crowd climate felt friendly, inclusive and nonjudgmental.

“We the people – that’s how our Constitution starts,” Zappardino said. “We have to be the ones to say what is important to us.”

Walsh said Carroll CAN welcomes all members of the community — regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual identity, preference, etc.

“There is a place in this community for everyone. If a person or group has faced discrimination, we want them to feel comfortable coming to us for support,” she said.

Learn more about Carroll CAN on its website at or find the group on Facebook.