The fourth annual Women’s March did not disappoint! I flew from Boston to Washington DC last week so that I could march in the same place where we made history three years ago. With me were my sister-in-law, husband, daughter, and friends. It was a cold and rainy day, but our spirits were high. Tens of thousands of people showed up, from all over the country to engage in peaceful protest. One woman who was marching next to me told me she decided to come at the last minute, and flew all the way from Los Angeles(!) to be there on Saturday morning.
The march was incredibly energizing. I love all of the signs, the chants, the diversity, and the camaraderie. This year I marched next to an amazing group of female drummers. They, along with the rest of the marchers, lifted my spirits. I’m proud to live in a country with freedom of speech, where we can march in front of the White House and protest what the president is doing. And there were marches everywhere! Beyond DC, people marched all over the country, from New York to San Francisco to Anchorage, Alaska – there were over 250 demonstrations last Saturday.
The marches generate a tremendous amount of positive energy, and a sense of collective strength. And that strength is real. It may not make headline news, but there’s no question that the energy and strength from the marches has had a lasting impact. More women ran for office in the 2018 midterm elections, and won, then ever before. And that matters: The female candidates prioritized issues like health care and gun control. They won in areas that had voted for Trump, by offering non-polarizing, pragmatic solutions.
You may not feel politically powerful as just one person. But don’t succumb to that mindset. As Alice Walker famously said, “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” Engaging in collective action is empowering. There will be many more opportunities to engage in 2020, since it’s an election year. It’s well worth it, personally and politically!