We made it safely to D.C. on a plane full of women, touching down 36 hours before the Women’s March on Washington. There was a palpable awareness in the air and a sense of knowing on the faces and in the eyes of the thousands of people around us. We brought our hearts and intentions to this march. Each of us has our own unique stories, but the general theme was: Raise our voices, band together, stand up for one another.
Pushing past our usual social barriers, we stopped women in the streets to connect. We wanted to know...why are you here? What moved you to travel? Why do you march? What will be next?
The answers varied; we spoke to an immigrant from Somalia who had just gained her citizenship. She talked about how much being an American meant to her: safety, religious freedom, opportunity. Above all, she was marching simply because in her country of origin, she would have been jailed for doing so.
Another immigrant, a young woman from Malaysia, who had voted for the very first time, was experiencing the responsibility that emerged from her new status as a citizen.
A granddaughter of a Pearl Harbor veteran and wildlife advocate came to march for the environment to represent “those without voices.”
A professor from New Hampshire Marched for advocacy in education, and a 7th grade teacher from California marched on behalf of her students: “They are old enough to hold beliefs and values but not yet old enough to vote.”
The sea of people who marched did so in the name of causes, beliefs and people that they pledged to champion. Out of all the amazing conversations we had over the three days, here’s a small sample of our favorites. #MarchingOn -
Rose, Washington, D.C. 27 years old
Participating in the Women's March on Washington was truly a life-changing experience. Being surrounded by a loving, supportive crowd of women, men and children united together around an event for women by women inspired me to be more vocal and involved in my local community. The real magic starts at home!
Samantha Sheldon, Child Psychologist, Walnut Creek, CA 43 years old
I covered my homemade sign in packing tape. Despite the rain, men, women and children were pouring in from all directions to gather together. I could feel and see: the hopeful faces, the desire to love and connect with one another. I knew I was exactly where I needed to be that day. I marched to uphold the rights that past generations have fought for.
I will continue to fundraise, to contact my local government officials, to work within my community to support our local food bank and crisis shelters and to continue my daily work with high risk infants and children with disabilities. This is my way of showing honor and solidarity for human rights and equal rights for every person.
Shaun Kaufka, 12 years old
I felt really proud that there were so many people there, so many people speaking their minds about what they see happening, especially things that have to do with being a female. I will fight for my own rights. I will stand up for myself and know that I am strong.
Kiley French-Glover, 13 years old
It was eye-opening and mind-bending to see the turn-out because it was so much bigger than what we expected. In that crowd, we couldn't even move. All these people joined together in reaction to what’s happening right now: for women, people of color, of different ethnicities. At times like this, when we have so many hard things going on, it can feel like there is nothing we can do, but it's empowering to get out with people who share your opinions.
Jody Ferguson, Olympia, WA 59 years old
I march because I chose to use the power I have: my voice. I have the power to speak up for equality. I have the power to speak up loudly, over and over and over again and I will. I have the power to march in gratitude to those who paved the way before me and with responsibility to help pave the way for those who come after me. I was lifted up and now it is my turn to lift up the next generation. I have the power to do that and so, with great pleasure, I will.