People sat anywhere space was available in the small studio to celebrate phenomenal women as organizers looked on at the success of another Women’s Wave event.
Jorden Jackson is a BYU graduate student who previously helped with the 2018 Women’s March in Park City and wanted to bring the event to Provo. She reached out through various BYU and Utah Valley political Facebook groups asking for help to organize a rally and received several responses.
Jackson said the committee for Provo’s Women’s Rally wanted to focus on sexual assault and providing resources for those who might be affected by it.
”We wanted to bring those issues out into the open and normalize the conversation,” Jackson said.
One of the goals of the rally, according to Jackson, was to show sexual assault is a problem in Utah. Having two universities near each other motivated Jackson to start the conversation.
“We were all just students figuring it out as we went along,” Jackson said. “It was great to have mentors who connected us to people.”
The committee recently held its second event on March 9 in downtown Provo, where artists and performers showcased their talents to celebrate phenomenal women.
Kathy Carlston gave a speech about her experience as a non-binary individual and how she knows bad times don’t stick around forever. Carlston showed the crowd a drawing she did while attending BYU and recalled that for her it was a difficult time.
“It was probably the lowest point of my life and continues to be the lowest point of my life, which is a really happy thing cause it doesn’t always stay terrible,” Carlston said.
Carlston emphasized to the audience that everyone should feel phenomenal, and if given the chance to go back and do it all over again she would.
Jenna Rakuita shared a compilation of her poems in which she told the audience who the poems were about, including her ancestors and her mother.
”My mother raised five kids on her own, so she’s one of the strongest women I know,” Rakuita said.
Rakuita spoke of how she would watch her mother’s strength waver, but she would always come back to the courageous demeanor Rakuita said she admired.