Well, the Women's March was something else. Looking at my Instagram and Facebook feeds and seeing so many images of Women's Marches from across the globe warms my spirit. I am still feeling so inspired. People who would normally just be disappointed that their party's presidential candidate lost, are livid that a man who has shown himself to be racist, misogynist, and bigoted will serve in our country's highest office. I knew so many people who attended the D.C. march or one of the sister marches across the globe. The folks I knew who marched represented so many different demographics. Among those who marched:
A friend and mentor, who didn't let her 70+ years slow her down marched.
Close friends marched.
Former colleagues in education marched.
Former neighbors marched.
Friends from high school, college, and graduate school marched.
Former students from all three schools where I taught marched.
Parents of former students of mine marched.
Someone who I once carried on my shoulders when she was a young child and I was a 17 year old high school senior marched.
My wife marched.
My daughter proudly marched.
Speaking of pride, I am proud to be associated with their passion and determination.
So what are the next steps? How do we maintain this momentum? There is much to consider. These are five things I am doing or will do.
-Challenge the current President in social media. He wants to be "America First", a slogan that has its roots in bigotry, well then o.k. We can flip the script on it and challenge him to address situations like what is still happening to the people of Flint, Michigan. NOW!
-Throw financial support behind senators like Kamala Harris, Tammy Duckworth, Elizabeth Warren, and Kirsten Gillibrand. They are out there at the forefront now, and they need us as much as we need them. Follow these folks on Facebook and Twitter. Share, repost, retweet.
-Find other friends to do this work with me! We need each other's backs.
I plan on re-evaluating these initial steps every few months.
The brilliant Aziz Ansari said so wonderfully during his recent Saturday Night Live opening monologue, "I want to leave you guys with a serious thought. I know there’s a lot of people that are worried right now. This is a weird time. If you’re excited about Trump, great. He’s president. Let’s hope he does a great job. If you’re scared about Trump and you’re very worried, you’re going to be O.K., too. Because if you look at our country’s history, change doesn’t come from presidents. Change comes from large groups of angry people. And if Day 1 is any indication, you are part of the largest group of angry people I have ever seen."
I am fired up. I am ready to go. I am with you. Time to work!
There have been a number of articles focusing on the challenges some women of color faced in attending a march with predominantly white women. These viewpoints can not be easily dismissed. These feelings are real, raw, and are important to not just acknowledge, but to also understand if we are to truly move forward. Please read this.
In addition, here are some speeches from the Washington, D.C. march from the likes of Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem, Janet Mock, and Janelle Monae. If you have yet to hear them, please watch!