Alianza worked with the New York Latinas Against Domestic Violence from 2001-2008 to organize an annual Brides March Against Domestic Violence in NYC. Alianza helped plan the marches, created the publicity materials, and worked with the media to help ensure coverage. In 2006, we also helped the Milwaukee Mujeres Against Violence organize the first Brides March in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The marches generate much public attention in local communities where they take place and regionally via wide media coverage. In March 2010, as part of its national conference activities, Alianza organized a Brides March in Miami Beach.
The March in New York has inspired organizers in other cities to hold their own marches. Marches have been held in Lawrence, Massachusetts; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Yonkers, New York; Washington, DC and Miami, Florida.
To help local groups organize their own marches, Alianza created a How to Organize a Brides March booklet. The booklet cover was designed by Eva Ruiz, a self-taught artist born in Colombia. Eva was very specific in the colors she used for the art. In her words: “...I chose certain colors to symbolize emotions.” The sunset or dawn symbolizes the end of the bride's life and the beginning of something new (Alianza's teachings towards younger women). Orange stands for passion and hope as well as the purples and blues.
The Gladys Ricart and Victims of Domestic Violence Memorial Walk/Brides’ March is an annual event which was started in New York City in 2001 to remember Gladys Ricart, a Dominican woman from Washington Heights, who was murdered in New Jersey on September 26, 1999, by a former abusive boyfriend on the day she was to wed someone else.
The first March took place on September 26, 2001, the second anniversary of Gladys’ murder. The idea for the March was originated by Josie Ashton, a young Dominican woman from Florida, who was moved by the murder and outraged at the media and community’s insensitive response. Josie resigned from her job and sacrificed more than three months of her life away from her family to walk, in a wedding gown, through several states down the East Coast to her home state of Florida, all in an attempt to draw attention to the horrors of domestic violence.
Several organizations in New York City, including the Dominican Women’s Development Center, the Violence Intervention Program (VIP), the Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation, the Dominican Women’s Caucus and the Alianza—National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence, helped Josie organize the first March, which served as a send-off for her 1,600-mile journey.
To learn more about and view pictures from the NYC Brides Marches go to: www.bridesmarch.com