This is not a girls getaway weekend for Barb Halsall.
“I am the further thing from an activist,” Halsall a Toronto resident said. “This wasn’t a matter of me wanting to do the march it was a matter of me feeling it was my responsibility.”
Originally from Guelph, Halsall lived in Miami, Florida for six years as a teenager during the 1960s when racial segregation was at its peak.
“I see history repeating itself to a certain extent,” Halsall said. “I felt like if not now, when am I going to stand up.”
Marching in support of equality, diversity and inclusiveness, Halsall along with 52 other women and one man will be on the SOULOMOBILE bus to Washington, D.C. Jan. 20 to participate in the Women’s March on Washington.
“Our bus is different because it’s going to be a workshop on wheels,” Savoy Howe, owner of Toronto Newsgirls Boxing Club, and one of the organizers of the SOULOMOBILE delegation, said.
Howe and her partner Tracey Erin Smith, who is the founder of the SOULO Theatre Company decided they wanted to start a movement after the American election results.
“We sat there and had a really good honest cry,” Howe said. “We are going to start a movement called ‘F**k That!’.”
The movement is divided intro three parts, and are a combination of boxing workshops, a photo exposé of powerful women, and finally the SOULOMOBILE workshop on wheels.
The SOULO Theatre focuses on developing one person shows based on personal stories, Erin Smith’s idea was to take this concept on the road and Washington was a good opportunity, according to Howe.
“There will be writing exercises on the way down,” Howe said. “(Erin Smith) will give assignments on the day of the march: ‘Your homework is, meet three people and find out where they’re from and why they’re here.’”
The vision is to create a show from those writing assignments, and perform them at a theatre festival later this year.
“If I had to guess I almost feel like something magical is going to happen,” Howe said. “What happens when you put half a million women together, going ‘It’s time to change!’”