For the record, I’ve never once really considered myself a political personality – but in our current climate, I view it as a complete disservice to both myself and the world to continue to hold my tongue. As the clock on 2016 slowly rolled into the ever so needed New Year of 2017, many of us mused to ourselves that ‘we made it’, that the nightmare year of 2016 is over. And over the last few days, it’s felt like 2017 has said: hold my beer, I’ve got this.
On the very first day of Trump’s new administration, any mention of Climate Change, Immigration LGBTQ or Civil Rights was been removed from the White House website. And as of today, not only has Trump has overturned both the rulings on the Dakota Access and Keystone Pipelines, but the funding for the EPA has been frozen – and as the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services, employees of the EPA have been banned from discussing anything on social media or with reporters. A while back, Trump produced a list of his proposed actions within his first 100 days as President, and the actions within his first 5 days have set an ominous tone for the next 95. As a nation, we’ve found ourselves swimming in a polarized, political predicament made magnitudes worse by the gross ignorance of pockets of our population, many of which are neighbors, family or even friends. Though I’ve found myself up in arms, both nervous and frightened by the potential of impending doom looming over the horizon – it’s also why the Women’s March this past Saturday is all the more poignant, and the movement all the more important.
“We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.”
On Trump’s first day of office, he spoke – loud and clear, and we all listened with heavy hearts and bated breath. The next day, millions of women around the world woke up and had an equally important message for the world: We will not stop passionately pursuing human rights for all – for those of faith and the impoverished, for the physical disabled and sexually abused, the LGBTQIA community and native populations; we fight for all – for all colors, all ages, all ethnicities, all genders. Sure, in name – it was called a Women’s March – but in reality, this was a Human’s March, representing the underlying need for us to be treated equally as humans that inhabit this planet side by side. The Women’s March was a march for reproductive rights and against the defunding of Planned Parenthood; it was a march for ending violence including police brutality and racial profiling, a march for LGBTQIA rights, worker’s rights, disability rights, immigrant rights and environmental rights. It was a march for you, a march for your children and your grandchildren after that – and a march for the betterment of our country.
Collectively, the Women’s March was over 5 Million Strong worldwide, with half a million peacefully protesting at our nation’s capital in Washington DC – now considered the largest inaugural protest in United States History. Los Angeles alone was responsible for nearly 15% of the national population – drawing over 750,000 into the heart of downtown as they marched their way into history, or rather – herstory.
In just the last few years, America has seen the beginnings of several great progressive movements – including Operation Wall Street, and the Black Lives Matter – generate magnitudes of national support. But what these movements have all seemed to lack is the leadership and internal administration to push the movement forward with a common goal and a voice. So, here we sit with the Women’s Movement at the same conjuncture as with those recently passed progressive movements – and now we must face a similar question – where do we go from here? Good news, is there are some answers.
The Women’s March didn’t end Saturday evening – and truth be told, our movement has only just begun. Just as Trump has his actions for the first 100 days, so does the Women’s March. Meet the ’10 Actions / 100 Days’ Campaign. The first matter of business on the agenda is a call to action – urging people to reach out to their Senators and representatives and talk about pressing, pertinent issues and let them know how you‘re willing to fight for the issues alongside them.
This is not a time to remain silent, this is a time to be heard. Be willing to call attention to important issues and have discussions – with friends, strangers and everyone in between. Find a local organization in your community and join forces, or find a national nonprofit group that fits your fancy. Many organizations have partnered with the Women’s March and could absolutely use the assistance – some of those include Planned Parenthood, the National Resource Defense Council, Greenpeace USA, the ACLU, GLAAD, Girls Who Code, Free The Nipple, and more. For the full list, head here.
Rise up and join the Movement – because if one man can create our current state of political unrest, certainly a group of strong, supportive women – and the men that support them – can right the wrong’s they see in the world.
`Volunteer // Los Angeles