Artistic Director Paola Mendoza plans for the march in the New York City office. (Kisha Bari)

In the Gathering for Justice office in New York, the women used paper on the walls to not only keep track of the number of speakers — keeping it to 50 — but also to make sure all organizations and issues were represented. (Kisha Bari)

One Facebook post by a retired attorney in Hawaii in November after the 2016 election surprised many by the way it stirred emotions in millions of women worldwide — so much that they took to the streets the day after the inauguration of President Trump. From social sharing to social movement, photojournalist Kisha Bari witnessed the transformation of the women and the movement. Inspired by the photographs taken of activist leaders like the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, Bari approached the women planning the March on Washington, driven by her desire to historically document their passion and contribution.

The planning, led by activists Paola Mendoza, Carmen Perez, Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour, began in New York and then moved to the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. Meetings were held in multiple offices, on floors, in hallways and were focused on moving forward and getting it all done. Logistics and diversity were a priority. Bari documented the 25 core organizers and over 100 associate organizers, including strategic advisers, social media planners and hundreds of volunteers.

“Together the group of women were very powerful,” Bari said. “There was a sense of sisterhood in that office.” There was some anxiety, but Bari said there “were also super-excited moments like when they received a supportive phone call from someone they admired.” Bari recalled a memorable moment when the women began singing “The Greatest Love of All” by Whitney Houston when they were in a meeting.

At the Watergate Hotel, the organizers were careful to keep their identities to themselves to prevent any threat to the event. There were some tense moments when they rode elevators alongside inauguration attendees dressed in ball gowns and met Trump supporters in the hotel lobby or bar.

On the day of the march, Bari started at 5 a.m., photographing early meetings and walk-throughs. She said, “Watching the marchers arrive during that three-hour period was phenomenal, incredibly emotional. … I’ve never seen anything like it.”

While they initially planned only a one-day event, these women have continued organizing. On International Women’s Day, the organizers behind the Women’s March planned “A Day Without a Woman.” In an interview with the Associated Press, Women’s March spokeswoman Cassady Findlay said the organizers were inspired by the recent “Day Without an Immigrant” protests held last month. “We do all of this and get paid less than men, get sexually harassed, get inadequate family leave,” Findlay said. “We provide all this value and keep the system going, and receive unequal benefits from it.”


Women’s March producer Ginny Suss tests out the Tattly Women’s March temporary tattoos on Genevieve Roth and Alyssa Klein in New York. (Kisha Bari)

A stage production team meeting was held in a hotel room at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. (Kisha Bari)

Paola Mendoza stands in front of the elevators trying to locate the next meeting room. Meetings were held all over the Watergate Hotel. (Kisha Bari)

The team celebrates in the main meeting room, nicknamed the “War Room,” as global coordinator Evvie Harmon announced that the very first sister march had begun in New Zealand. (Kisha Bari)

Paola Mendoza, Carmen Perez, Linda Sarsour and Tamilka Mallory attend side meetings in the “War Room” at The Watergate Hotel. (Kisha Bari)

From left to right, Meredith Shepherd, Vanessa Wruble, Carmen Perez, Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour, Ginny Suss, Tabitha St. Bernard Jacobs and Jenna Arnold hold an uplifting chant and prayer in the “War Room” at the Watergate Hotel. (Kisha Bari)

Paola Mendoza leads the final meeting before the march at the Watergate Hotel. (Kisha Bari)

Head of logistics Janaye Ingram arrives on the scene at 5:30 a.m. on Jan. 21 in Washington, D.C. (Kisha Bari)

The crowd starts to form at 6 a.m. along the barriers of the Women’s March stage. Alyssa Klein, Sarah Sophie Flicker, De’Ara Balenger, Paola Mendoza and Meredith Shepherd take a walk through the area. (Kisha Bari)

Janaye Ingram, Vanessa Wruble and Michael Skolnik have a conversation with National Park Service representative Leonard D. Lee about possibly adjusting the march permit because there were too many people to march on the predetermined route. (Kisha Bari)

Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez get a selfie with Charlie Brotman, who was not asked back to his longtime job as inauguration announcer. (Kisha Bari)

Organizers Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez, Bob Bland and Janaye Ingram march. (Kisha Bari)

Marchers gather at 7 a.m. in Washington, D.C. (Kisha Bari)

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