(CBS) – One year ago, tens of thousands of people marched through Chicago for the Women’s March.
On Saturday, they plan to return.
CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole looks at what, if anything, has changed in a year’s time.
When over 400,000 gathered in Washington for last January’s Women’s March, Leni Manaa Hoppenworth, a North Side mother, didn’t expect she’d be there.
“At that time last year, I was thinking, ‘My God, the world has changed, and I don’t know what to do about it,’” she says.
But a change in the White House brought about a change in herself, pushing the owner of a dance supply store to become politically active in the months since.
“I think there are many like me who said, ‘I don’t know what to do about it, joined a group, did something.”
Over the past year, empowered women have raised their voices, saying ME TOO, and forcing powerful men in media and politics to step down over their sexual conduct. Hoppenworth traces it back to the march.
“People are more focused,” she says.
Logan Square’s Busy Beaver Buttons was inundated last year with requests from marchers. This year, the company’s taking orders from as far away as New York.
“People have more messages and more specific things they want to say,” Christen Carter says.
Kelly Metcalf picked up her buttons Thursday. The nurse missed last year’s Chicago march and feels drawn to the event this Saturday.
“It’s really about the end goal and letting our voices be heard,” she says.
No one knows for sure if crowds will meet last year’s levels. But the spirit beyond the march, participants say, is what matters most.
Chicago’s march is Saturday. The national march is Sunday in Las Vegas.