Jenny took this photo of me nursing Fiona at the Womxn's March on Seattle last Saturday. If you haven't already, check out her thoughtful reflections on the march.
Last Saturday was an inspiring day for me. I marched with two of my best friends, my mom, my aunt, and my baby daughter. We wore our 30/30 Project "Healthcare is Human Right" t-shirts and gave away a bag full of them to fellow marchers with healthcare signs along the route. We arrived at Judkins Park in south Seattle at 9:30am and didn't start marching until nearly 1:00. By the time we reached the end of the route at the Seattle Center we were literally in the last 50 people (out of 130,000) to finish the march. It was a long day, Fiona was in her stroller for nearly 8 hours outside. I nursed her sitting cross legged on the lawn at Judkins Park on top of the stroller rain cover and then sitting on 4th Avenue with my back against the wall at Starbucks. And yet being a part of the march was energizing. Talking with fellow marchers, hearing the reasons people were out there, reading the empowering and clever signs that people had put together, joining with other Seattleites in song and cheers. It left me full of hope and enthusiasm.
But as I reflect back this week, and read several articles that gave me a lot of food for thought (here, here and here) I think the most important thing that I will take away from the experience is a drive to take that energy and continue to be engaged, using my voice, money and privilege to make a difference.
I want to be able to tell that little girl that I nursed on the side of the road that her mom stood up for what was right. That in the one of the darkest hours of our country's history, my children were there with me making a difference in our community, in our country, and in this world. I have been too much of a bystander already in the struggle for equality in this country.
Tonight I'm headed to my friend Brittany's house to sign postcards with friends to mail off to our representatives. Patrick and I are in the midst of deciding what additional organizations we want send monthly donations to that will be able to hold our government accountable or step in where services are no longer being offered. Our family will be marching again this year for causes we believe in. I am joining Jenny and others in educating ourselves about the intersection of race and feminism, and about practical steps we can take to recognize our privilege and stand with people of color in our community.
Now is the time to take action.