Saturday, January 21, 2017 will be a day I will never forget. A day that will forever live in my memory and define me as the woman I am today. On the morning of January 21, 2017, marchers gathered in Downtown Chicago at East Jackson Boulevard and South Lake Shore Drive, with a mission to make their voices heard and to support one another in protecting and furthering women’s rights and civil liberties.
That morning, I had the opportunity to march with more than 250,000 beautiful individuals of different colours, backgrounds, religious faiths, and politics. Individuals who supports women and human rights. Individuals who are activists. Individuals who come from different walks of life- economic, educational, and social situations. Individuals of diverse gender identification and sexual identities- LGBTQ, Heterosexual, and other. Individuals of diverse martial status and age. Individuals who are survivors of trauma. And individuals who have varied abilities. Never have I ever been so proud to be a woman that day and to stand with my sisters and brothers made me feel strong, powerful, and beautiful. Together, as we stood in solidarity fighting for what is right, our strength multiplied and our voices were heard.
As people began drawing in, Petrillo Bandshell in Chicago’s Grant Park was filled with love, kindness, and so much energy. Reading the multiple signs people have created and hearing the chants that filled the park, made me realize that even in 2017, we are still fighting and advocating for our rights. One specific sign that stood out to me, read “I cannot believe I still have to protest this fucking shit.” I know, I know, very un-lady like, but there is so much truth and meaning with just that sign.
Even though the March was this past Saturday, I still feel as if it was just yesterday. From the Co-Chairs of the Women’s March on Chicago to the Cast members of Hamilton and various of organizers and executives, our ears were filled with stories of diverse and concerning issues two hours prior to the March. During certain speeches, I will admit, tears filled my eyes.
If you have not watched the news, the Women’s March on Chicago was unfortunately cancelled due to overcapacity, however, we still marched along the Magnificent Mile after the rally.”SHOW ME WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE. THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE,” “LOVE, NOT HATE, MAKES AMERICA GREAT,” were chanted through the streets of Mile. There are not enough words to describe the energy, the love, the unity, the passion that filled the streets of Chicago. Love soared through the air as people chanted their hearts out.
Overall, this was the best experience of my life and to take part of something so powerful, so inspirational, and so motivating will forever be ingrained in my mind and something I will cherish forever and pass down to my daughter.
Women’s rights are human rights, which together we must PROTECT and further. Through our march, we send a message to our new administration and to the world that we seek to PROTECT our civil liberties and rights. We are here to ACTIVATE. Fairness, justice, and equality require rigorous defense and promotion, and are not yet won. We recognize lack of fairness, justice, and equality are suffered by some much more than others. We recognize the intersectionality of disadvantage and oppression. We need to work until fairness, justice, and equality are reality in all parts of society. With this march, we are committed to continue/begin positive, peaceful ACTION in our lives and communities to move toward this goal, and to support others who do as well.