The Buzz: The 2018 Women’s March and the Importance of Decisive Action

 

Hundreds of thousands of women and allies took to the streets this past weekend in over 200 demonstrations to commemorate the Women’s March that took place last year on the day of President Trump’s inauguration and to continue raising their voices for equity, diversity, women’s rights and human rights.

Signs at the protests had everything from Aly Raisman quotes to pleas for protections for Dreamers to The Handmaid’s Tale references – a truly intersectional showing. Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, the woman who first used and defined the term “intersectionality”, actually spoke at the Los Angeles march. Other speakers at the various marches included politicians, activists from a wide range of backgrounds and causes, and celebrities like Viola Davis, Halsey, and Olivia Munn.

The message?  We have not given up; we will not give up; we are stronger than ever. Many of the messages this year reflected the #MeToo and Times Up movements as well as the need to create political and policy change from this cultural moment. In speaking with a colleague this weekend, I was reminded of how necessary that action piece of the equation is as we move into a year that seems a decisive turning point in the way we talk about gender, race, politics, religion, immigration, etc. For many, 2017 was the year we realized just how polarizing, how traumatic, and how ultimately motivating – in a not so positive way – our national rhetoric and policies around these issues can be. It was a year in which the idea and practice of inclusion was certainly threatened, and it was a year in which so many people reacted against that threat with great solidarity and strength.

Hopefully, this past weekend’s Women’s March demonstrations were a signal that we will continue to ride that momentum of solidarity and strength into 2018 and act on the things we are finally saying out loud, like Me Too, and My Voice Matters, Times Up, and White Women – Do Better.

Who knows what this year will bring, but Oprah has already given us enough inspiration to last a lifetime, Get Out has four Oscar nominations, the Fierce Five (along with 150 other female gymnasts and athletes) and a hero of a judge put Larry Nassar in prison for up to 175 years, and women in pink hats are still out in these streets, so let’s hope we are headed towards even more decisive action in the name of inclusion.

See below for a powerful video of Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw at the LA March speaking on Black women, intersectionality, and the power of decisive action:

About Caroline Belden

Caroline Belden is a writer and social justice advocate who is passionate about pursuing equity and creating transformative and sustainable paths to inclusion and trust across lines of difference. She is an Innovation and Learning Associate at The Winters Group, Inc.

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