Marching at the Women’s March on Washington was a powerful experience of unity and collective heart. While everyone may have come to the March with a different lived experience, it was clear that the overarching feeling was one of support and love. In a time when I have been feeling so concerned, worried and depressed for the future of our country (and world), these feelings were challenged by the collectiveness of January 21, 2017. It made me aware of the mass amounts of people who care, won’t be silent and are ready and willing to fight for equality going forward.
Cell reception was spotty at best throughout the day, but I also purposefully stayed off of social media, so that I could allow myself to be entirely present. I wanted to be in the moment and soak in the feelings of the day – especially as I came to realize that I would need to call on this day throughout the next several months. I’ve also needed a few days post-March to process the experience and reflect on what the day meant to me.
The one image that I keep coming back to, though, is the one above. This young girl was standing next to us on the Mall at one point during the day. We probably stood next to her for about 30-45 minutes and for that ENTIRE time she did not put down her sign. She stood there, not moving – exactly as you see her in the picture. Her stance and face were full-on determination. The adults that she was with were standing behind her talking, but she did not move. You could feel her passion and that she meant what she wrote on that sign – and she wanted the world to know it.
This young girl encapsulates why I’ve dedicated so much of my energy to education, why I started Chapter Be and #WhyIMarch…so that everyone can live a life where they can BE anything they want to BE.
I want people to feel and understand their own power.
I want people to know that there is not one person, school, institution, government or job that can tell them otherwise.
I want our systems and democracy to support this notion, instead of tear it down.
The March reminded me of this and is helping me reconnect to my passion around fighting to make sure ALL people are able to BE who the want to BE. The day was an awe-inspiring display of the power of the collective. A massive example that we need to work together to support each other in our being. When we recognize people’s lived stories – when we stop and listen to how people want to be in their life – when we allow and support each other in our quests to be our authentic selves – we are living out our humanity. And our world needs humanity.
Thank you to those who organized the March.
Thank you to those who showed up – especially those who have been marching for years even when others did not show up to support you.
And thank you to this young girl for reminding me to never stop marching until everyone gets to BE.
More pictures from the Women’s March on Washington: