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Women’s march founder drawn out of retirement by movement

  • STEVEN TONTHAT / STONTHAT@STARADVERTISER.COM

    A crowd gathers at the Hawaii state Capitol on the one-year anniverary of the Women’s March.

Maui resident Teresa Shook said she’s not really retired anymore after sparking women’s marches last year that have continued to spread around the world.

The retired Hana attorney spent much of last year traveling the country to speak on issues of social justice, accepting awards and being interviewed by media outlets, The Maui News reported .

“Really, this is my work now,” Shook said. The march “changed my life, but it’s changed my life for the good. I’m honored to be a part. We made history.”

The idea to hold a march came after Donald Trump was elected, said Shook, who moved to Maui in 2000 from Santa Cruz, California. Shook wanted to counter degrading rhetoric directed at women and minorities with a message of empowerment, she said.

Shook created a Facebook event page for the march that followed Trump’s inauguration last January, and the event went viral. Shook ended up speaking in front of hundreds of thousands of people packed onto the lawn of the National Mall in Washington.

Shook said she believes the marches have helped spur the increase in women running for public office and the “#MeToo” movement, which has called on men to account for sexual misconduct.

“I know some people think it’s too much,” Shook said. “I think that the climate is open to support women to speak up, and that’s why so much is coming out now. Because before, they weren’t allowed to speak up, or no one would believe them.”

Shook planned to attend the march on the Big Island today.

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