Women’s March Inspires Students to Get Involved
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“This is what democracy looks like!” shouts thousands of women and men in pink knitted hats, famously dubbed “pussy hats,” holding signs with messages like “girls just wanna have fundamental human rights” and “there is no planet b.”
This is the scene that took place at the Women’s March on January 21, the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, in Washington D.C. Started a by group of women on Facebook, the March became a movement symbolizing the fight for all the rights and causes that President Donald Trump had promised to take away during his campaign.
The March’s mission focused on giving a voice to those who had been dehumanized by the President on his campaign trail. The goal of the march was to empower groups who had been silenced, such as immigrants, Natives, Muslims, blacks, and those who identified as LGBTQ.
Not only did thousands attend the march in D.C., but over five million people around the world came out to march at the numerous sister marches that were held across the globe. Many students from Wilde Lake also attended the Women’s March in D.C., and had positive experiences to share.
“I thought the march was very powerful and sent an important message that said that many people do not agree with Trump’s policies and will fight for women’s rights. I had a lot of fun, and it was nice to be surrounded by people who support equal rights,” said senior Lia Conforti.
Senior Jennifer Benavides also shared a similar sentiment as Conforti, and believed that going to the march was a great way for her to express how she was feeling in today’s political climate.
“I loved the march! I got really emotional knowing that I was going to be a part of history and that I was practicing one of my constitutional rights. The march made me really happy, because I only felt love and unity,” said Benavides.
The students who marched all came for the same reason: to support equal rights and those who were marginalized by the government. They all felt at risk due to President Trump’s policies and beliefs, and wanted to make sure that their voices would be heard.
“Personally, I marched because I have always been passionate about gender equality. Even though, I could be negatively impacted by a Trump presidency, I definitely will not be the most affected. I felt like it was important to not just march for myself but in support of all women of different ethnicities and sexual orientations who might be more at risk,” said senior Faith Leslie.
The organizers of the March have launched their own initiative to continue the momentum generated by the March, and are encouraging all those who participated to start contacting their representatives by sending them postcards, calling their offices, and emailing. The students who attended the march all plan on continuing the momentum and want to engage in other forms of activism during the next four years and beyond.
“I plan on continuing the momentum afterwards by supporting organizations such as Planned Parenthood that have the resources to make a large scale impact. I think the role of students in marches like the Women’s March is to represent the next generation and advocate for or against legislation that affects our future,” said Leslie.
Leslie and other students who attended also want to encourage their peers to get involved and continue to fight for what they believe in.
“I think older students ought to have a role in events like these. I really think that students should do more than just express their beliefs on social media. They should get out and contact their representative and get involved in local community affairs. If students want their voices to be heard, then they should do more than just post a hashtag. Students have so much power because they are the rising generation. They bring new political perspectives into the world, so they should try to do more,” said Benavides.