Sep 16, 2019

Women's March co-chairs step down in wake of anti-Semitism allegations

March Organizers Bob Bland, Tamika D. Mallory, Linda Sarsour, and Carmen Perez-Jordan speak on stage during the Women's March on January 19, 2019.

Women's March co-chairs Bob Bland, Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour are stepping down as the organization looks to rebound from controversies surrounding its management, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Ahead of the 2020 election, the Women's March is looking to distance itself from allegations of anti-Semitism and financial mismanagement within its leadership that members say have drowned out the group's political message.

  • Bland, Mallory and Sarsour stepped down in July, although the organization never publicly announced their departures, the Post reports. Co-Chair Carmen Perez will remain in her post.
  • The new leadership includes a diverse set of 16 board members, including three Jewish women, a transgender woman and two religious leaders.

The big picture: The Women's March began as a movement that called for women to further engage in politics after President Trump's election in 2016. After a highly successful first march, the group has been shrouded in controversy in part due to revelations that Mallory attended a Nation of Islam event in which leader Louis Farrakhan made offensive comments about Jews.

  • While the Women's March tried to quell outrage by denouncing anti-Semitism, its leaders failed to denounce Farrakhan, who has a history of making racist remarks about Jews.
  • In December 2018, an early organizer of the Women's March said she was pushed out of the group after the 2017 march and that her Jewish identity played a role in her ouster.

What's next: The new board will elect new leaders, replacing Mallory and Bland as co-presidents, when it convenes this month.

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