2017 is going to be different. It has to be different because what Americans are seeing from the executive branch is unprecedented — in a dangerous, slippery slope way.
So last Saturday, millions and I marched. The why I march is simple: women’s rights are human rights. Equality cannot exist without freedom of choice: to be with who you love, to do what you love. I will not stand for an administration that stands against equality for women, for people of color, for the LGBTQ community, for non-Christians. And I’m certainly not okay with a person who has admitted and bragged about sexual assault as our Commander-in-chief.
I’m not a marcher. In college, I didn’t participate in any on-campus demonstrations because I was on the newspaper staff, so this was new territory for me. I didn’t even bring a sign with me, partly because I couldn’t think of anything to write, but mostly because I didn’t know what to expect. (There were some great ones though.) There were so many different viewpoints expressed, and that was beautiful. Even people on the same side can have differences in priorities and passions and experiences, and that’s okay.
There is nothing wrong with America that can’t be cured with what is right in America.”
President Bill Clinton said that in his first inaugural address, and it rings very true today. I’m grateful to be an American because it affords me the right to say what I want and protest what I want. Protests have always been part of American history, but social media is a game changer for organizers. (It’s a double-edged sword, of course, since fake news — propaganda — spreads easier than ever.) In terms of the protests that have been springing up since November, and this last week in our cities and our airports — I have never seen anything like it before.
So what now? March. Write. Donate. Volunteer. If you don’t know where or how to get started, ask. There are a lot of resources available! I found a great local organization through Volunteer Match, and I’m excited to get more involved. You can filter by location, causes you’re passionate about, etc. I definitely recommend it as a starting point.
There’s a lot of work to do. Let’s get to it, and let us not forget to take care of ourselves and each other.