Sporting a flannel shirt and a ballcap, Bethany Montgomery stepped onstage at the Spokane Woman’s Club on Saturday and emphatically laid down deep-reaching rhymes to a standing-room-only audience.
Montgomery opted not to use a microphone. With a strong voice and stronger message laced with a sharp slam-poetry-style, her words seemed to resonate with the International Women’s Day crowd.
“Feminism isn’t about women being better than men – it’s supported on the base that we’re just as good as them,” Montgomery recited. “We’re equal, no gender is better than the other. But if that were true, why do women still suffer?”
When her poem ended, Montgomery, a Power 2 Poetry founder, was met with loud applause.
It was an impressive reception, considering she followed the act of keynote speaker Sandy Williams, a prominent activist and creator of Black Lens News.
Williams opened the event, the second International Women’s Day hosted by the YWCA, speaking on racial and gender equality.
Around 250 people were in attendance and took in a series of workshops. Spokane City Councilwoman Kate Burke led a workshop entitled “Recognizing and Resisting Discrimination.” Ann Jackson-Avery led “Breathe, Move, Mend: Your Body Speaks Volumes,” while Wendy Levy from the Alliance for Media Arts and Culture taught the power of storytelling with “Women’s Story Circle.”
Ingrid Sub Cuc, an indigenous Mayan from Guatemala, led a presentation encouraging indigenous women to share their stories and “speak their truth.”
Buddhist nuns of the Sravasti Abbey offered a meditation session for International Women’s Day, a global day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
Nicole Nimens, YWCA education and outreach coordinator, was impressed with Saturday’s turnout of a wide-ranging demographic of women.
“I think it was really important to bring people from all different walks of life and different backgrounds and all different cultures, because they’re all successful women,” Nimen said. “And the cool thing is that most of these women know each other.
“We feel a sense of family when we’re part of events like this.”
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