Alongside my mother-in-law, daughter, niece, sister-in-laws, cousins, climate movement family and an expected 500,000 new friends, I will march in Washington, DC on January 21, 2017 at the Women’s March on Washington. I, like many who are coming to Washington, or who will be marching in solidarity in their home cities, will be marching for many varied reasons.
First and foremost I am marching for my son and my daughter. I march for their future and now – a place and space where all human beings are treated equally, where hope can be incubated and can breath and where the urgency of the climate crisis is given the weight and gravity it demands.
Through out the election process, I, like so many, watched in disbelief as women were denigrated, objectified and treated with disdain – all by the incoming President Elect. How was this allowed to transpire – how and why were so many people seemingly frozen in place? I am marching to say I won’t allow this to go any further without push back and action. I am marching with my sisters and for my sisters.
I plan to wear my Pink Pussy Hat, and to wear it proudly; I will carry in my heart the many millions of women and men who cannot be in Washington, and I will think of them as I surround myself in a sea of pink – women transcending our nation’s capital. I will think fondly and with thanks, of my conversations with a US women’s rights icon, Bella Abzug. In 1995 I had the honor of spending time with her, as we waited together in a small classroom in a suburb of Beijing, China for an event of the Fourth World Conference on Women to begin. Ms. Abzug shared her thoughts and gave advice freely to me, on the conference we were attending, on her life’s journey, on the importance of work life balance, on how far women have come, and how far we still had to go. As a “soon to be married” young woman, thinking deeply about my life, my work, and the possibility of children to come, this conversation struck home with me, and has stayed fresh and strong in my mind and my heart all these years later. Honest, direct and forthright, Congresswoman Abzug helped me begin to define my path and find and harness my passions. I know that in Washington at the Women’s March there will be many women – myself included – taking time to share our thoughts and our experiences with others who are just beginning their journeys along the road of activism.
According to the Women’s March on Washington website: The March is a women-led movement bringing together people of all genders, ages, races, cultures, political affiliations and backgrounds in our nation’s capital on January 21, 2017, to affirm our shared humanity and pronounce our bold message of resistance and self determination.
In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.
We support the advocacy and resistance movements that reflect our multiple and intersecting identities. We call on all defenders of human rights to join us. This march is the first step towards unifying our communities, grounded in new relationships, to create change from the grassroots level up. We will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society. We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all.
My awakening as a climate activist has happening over time. I am excited and hopeful by the passionate acts and commitment to activism that have ignited so many, just since the November 2016 presidential election. So much is at stake, and so many are standing strong, not only promising to hold the line, but also to push back against those trying to take away our rights to control what happens to our bodies, to our air, our water, our planet and to a hope at a livable future.
Please join me on Saturday and march with us as part of the Climate Justice Contingent:
The Women for Climate Justice Contingent will be meeting on the morning of the march (January 21st, 2017), at 9:00 AM at the Holiday Inn – Capitol Hill, 550 C St SW. The March begins at 10:00 am at the intersection of Independence Ave and Third St SW. We will walk to the march together from the Holiday Inn.
I will be marching for so many reasons, first and foremost for my son and my daughter.