Why I Marched (& Which Signs I Liked Best)

Sunday, January 21, 2018

"This is what democracy looks like!"

I was proud to march in the Cleveland Women's March on Saturday with three of my friends & 7,000 others Northeast Ohioans. We marched alongside sisters (& brothers & non-binary folks!) who were Black, white, Latinx, Asian, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, trans, gay, disabled, young, old, fat, thin...

I'll be honest: Based on some of what I'd read, I went into the event more than a little skeptical of the movement's commitment to diversity & inclusivity. I read that Black Lives Matter, in particular, was in disagreement with Women's March coordinators in a number of cities, including D.C. & Cincinnati. I also read a piece written by one of my dear friends, titled, "Getting intersectional means showing up when there are no pink hats," that had me questioning my motives for attending & wondering whether it was OK for me to participate.

Ultimately, I decided that participating in this march was just one piece of my broader activism efforts - & I need to remember that throughout the year! One march does not an activist make - so I've (we've!) got to keep it up.

Overall, I was really proud of our city's turnout & of the speakers on the docket, who spoke about everything from reproductive choice to violence against Black women to climate change to LGBTQ equality to education reform. The speakers themselves were diverse & representative of a variety of organizations across the Cleveland area. I did note that there were not nearly as women of color as I would've liked to have seen at an event in a Black-majority city - but I wonder if the aforementioned concerns kept potential participants of color away.

It seemed, to me at least, to be a day quite representative of the many issues & intersections that impact today's women - & indeed, all of us. (Side note: If you have a case against this, though, I'd love to know more, as I know there was a lot of discussion before the marches about whether they appropriately centered marginalized women.)

There were, of course, some incredible signs. A few of my favorites are rounded up here, but keep scrolling, because beneath the photos, i'm also sharing some important resources!

So, yes, it was a very powerful morning. But now what? Now let's keep it up! 

Whether or not you marched on Saturday, find ways to get involved this year. Figure out what matters to you, & take action. Looking for local organizations to support & get involved in? Here are just a few great ones:

May this be the year that we all choose how to become more involved - & may this be the year we trust women.

...that we listen to Black women.

...that we stand with trans women.

...that we support immigrant women.

...that we defend Muslim women.

May this be the year that we believe in women.

In 2018, the blue wave is coming. And next time, I'm bringing a damn sign to the rally.

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