Three of the organizers of the Women’s March, a national movement in the United States formed to oppose the Trump administration. have stepped down from its board.
Co-chairs Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory and Bob Bland left in July, the Washington Post reported Monday. In a news release, the Women’s March said they “will transition off of the Women’s March Board and onto other projects focused on advocacy within their respective organizations.”
The three women, along with co-chair Carmen Perez, had been at the center of a controversy over allegations that they failed to condemn and in some cases fostered anti-Semitism in the movement. Perez is remaining in her position.
The Women’s March told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the women were leaving because their terms had expired.
“The organization has not cut ties with the three departing board members; their terms have ended. As with any organization that has a governing board, there are set term limits imposed upon its members,” the organization said in a statement.
The website still had the photos and titles of the three co-chairs through this week, when the Women’s March announced the board turnover.
The group has chosen 17 women, including three who are Jewish, to serve as board members, and they will elect new leaders, according to the Post. Among them are Rabbi Tamara Cohen, the chief of program strategy at Moving Traditions, Ginna Green, the chief strategy officer at Bend the Arc, and Ginny Goldman, the former executive director at Texas Organizing Project.
The anti-Semitism accusations date back to Mallory’s ties to and refusal to disavow Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has a long history of making anti-Semitic comments. An article in Tablet last year also alleged that Mallory and Perez made anti-Jewish comments at planning meetings. Sarsour, who is Palestinian American, has made statements implying that feminism and Zionism are incompatible.
And — this may shock you — but she ALSO has some opinions about Israel, Palestine and Hamas pic.twitter.com/7HxJBDoztz
— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) September 16, 2019
Prominent activists and Jewish leaders have criticized the co-chairs for their actions, while others have defended them. Some local chapters, many of which are not affiliated with the national group, have also distanced themselves from Sarsour, Mallory and Bland.
The march was founded as a protest against US President Donald Trump’s election in 2016. Millions of women, and men, marched at his inaugural event in 2017, making it the largest one-day protest in US history.