NEW BEDFORD — One of the organizers of this weekend's Women's March Southcoast says the event isn't so much a protest, but more of a vocal and visible support group. Beth Santos-Fauteux encourages local women who may be struggling financially to attend, as there will be plenty of networking going on.

"You're going to meet all of these women who may have been in that situation," says Santos-Fauteux. "They'll see these are the ways we can pull ourselves out of here and gain our confidence and esteem and move forward with a life that gives us financial freedom."

The march begins at noon Saturday at Custom House Square in New Bedford, but there are forums and luncheons that lead up to that, including a talk reserved just for men. Santos-Fauteux says the men's forum will help ease any fears men may have about interacting with women in 2019.

"Especially in the era of #MeToo, men are maybe not finding their space where they belong or are afraid to talk or act a certain way because they're afraid that maybe they'll be accused of something," says Santos-Fauteux. "It's a way to talk about that and how it's not this huge problem that requires all of this abstract thinking. Consent is a pretty simple idea."