The founder of the Women’s March is calling for the movement’s current co-chairs to step down for allowing bigotry into their mission.
Teresa Shook, a lawyer and educator who founded the Women’s March movement, accused the group’s current co-chairs – Bob Bland, Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez – of associating with bigoted outside groups and tarnishing the Women’s March’s initial goals in a post on her Facebook page Monday.
The co-chairs “have steered the Movement away from its true course. I have waited, hoping they would right the ship,” Shook wrote. “But they have not. In opposition to our Unity Principles, they have allowed anti-Semitism, anti-LBGTQIA sentiment and hateful, racist rhetoric to become a part of the platform by their refusal to separate themselves from groups that espouse these racist, hateful beliefs.”
“I call for the current Co-Chairs to step down and to let others lead who can restore faith in the Movement and its original intent,” Shook added. “I stand in Solidarity with all the Sister March Organizations, to bring the Movement back to its authentic purpose.”
The Women’s March leaders swiftly shot back, crediting Shook for “creating a Facebook event named the Million Women’s March” and lambasting her for not working to support the movement’s ongoing growth.
“Today, Teresa Shook weighed in, irresponsibly, as have other organizations attempting in this moment to take advantage of our growing pains to try and fracture our network,” the Women’s March wrote in a post on its Facebook page. “Groups that have benefited from our work but refuse to organize in accordance with our Unity Principles clearly have no interest in building the world our principles envision. They have not done the work to mobilize women from diverse backgrounds across the nation.”
“Our ongoing work speaks for itself. That’s our focus, not armchair critiques from those who want to take credit for our labor,” the statement continued.