I’m pretty excited today!
I’m coming off an amazing weekend of activism. This past weekend I participated in the Women’s March on Washington.
I live in Washington, DC, where protest marches are common and people have come here for decades to participate in actions to bring about social change. I’ve been to several marches and protests in my day, in DC and in other cities.
But, I hadn’t been to a march or demonstration in years. I’m so thankful that I went to this one.
There were hundreds of thousands of people – men and women, from all walks of life, all standing together for a common cause – to ensure that women’s voices (and actually the voices of all marginalized people) are heard and that our rights are protected.
In my 20 years living in Washington, and in my years attending protest marches, I’d never seen ANYTHING like it.
It was a never-ending sea of people. In fact, the original plans of a formal march had to be scrapped because there were too many people for it to be feasible to actually march along the route.
We did walk, though. More accurately, we shuffled. It could also be called, the Women’s Shuffle on Washington.
The organizers sought a permit for 200,000 people; conservative estimates say 500,000 attended. The number may actually be closer to 1.2 million.
Women’s March on Washington, January 21, 2017. A sea of people as far as the eye can see. Can you see me? I’m next to the chick in the pink knitted hat! Video downloaded from Facebook.
There were also more than 400 sister marches around the country and another 168 around the world. An estimated 2.9 million marchers participated worldwide.
It was the largest single-day protest in American history. And it was a complete grassroots effort.
It was an amazing show of unity.
The energy of the day was electrifying, and it was all grounded in love.
Yes, it was a protest march but it wasn’t violent. The dominant message was one of peace, and solidarity. We are all different but now more than ever, we are all the same.
And it’s only the beginning.
While we’ve put away our marching shoes, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. The women’s movement has been reignited, and the march organizers have identified 10 actions that participants can take over the next 100 days on issues they care about.
For me, the march was somewhat of a rebirth. In my younger days, I had a history of activism and showing up to help fight the battles that mattered to me. I did marches. I bused to DC from other places I lived to march and demonstrate. I frequented political rallies.
In fact, my spirit of activism and commitment to the democratic process are what brought me to DC to live in 1997.
In recent years, I’m afraid to say, I’ve been “mailing it in.” I haven’t been following the news as much. I educate myself and vote, but haven’t participated in the political process like I did when I was younger.
I realized I’ve missed it. The march reminded me of what matters, and for me that’s advocacy and lending my voice to causes I care about.
What I’m Going To Do
In that vein, I’ve decided that one of my own personal actions in the coming months will be to participate in Resolve’s Advocacy Day in May. In fact, I’ve already registered.
I’ll join my sisters (and brothers) in the infertility community to educate Congress about what’s important to us — increased access to family building options and financial relief — and send the message that people with infertility matter.
Dr. Martin Luther King once said that “our lives begin to end the day we become silent on things that matter.” I saw signs with this quote at the march, like the one pictured above.
I’ll no longer be silent about this issue or other issues that matter to me.
If you’re feeling inspired too, join me.
I’m stoked! It feels good to be back in the saddle!