It’s the day after the historic 2017 Women’s March. What began as a march on Washington, DC turned into an international event. All across the nation, the US territories and internationally, women and their supporters marched to show unity for women’s rights. Here’s a video from St. Croix, the United States Virgin Islands. I chose to show this clip as a connection with my ancestry.
As I watched pictures that my family members posted at the Women’s March in DC, New York, and St. Croix, and I read their social media posts I was very proud of them and happy for them. They all did something that they believed to be valuable and necessary. They participated in a historic moment and for that, I give them a round of applause.
However, I wasn’t there. After giving it much thought I choose to remain home. I was somewhat conflicted about my feelings. I mean, after all, I’m all about women’s rights and I believe we live in a world that does not value women and girls. So, why did I not feel connected enough to attend of all things the Women’s March? When I initially learned about the March I looked into traveling by bus to DC with a local group. Then I learned there would be one in Manhattan so I said, great easier to participate.
My mindset shifted, however, when I learned about the difference of opinion between the march organizers and the so-called pro-life movement (or a specific organization), and those who planned to attend. My first reaction was, how disappointing. It seems a pro-life group had been removed as an organizer because the march was classified as a pro-choice event (one among many platforms being championed). I had naturally assumed that the march would be all inclusive. How could it not be with so many women marching around the globe? There is no way that every single woman in attendance has the same exact belief system. Couldn’t there have been a way for just one day, to respect every woman’s belief? Were there not bigger fish to catch? I know they could have still attended without being organizers, but in my opinion, the message it sent was contradictory.
The Results are In
While I’ve shared this story and its impact on me that’s not why I didn’t go, although it didn’t help. For whatever reason as each day drew closer, I felt less of a connection. I may say something next that gets you upset, but if this Women’s March meant anything to you just hear me out without judgment.
When Trump won the election I was disappointed, but I wasn’t shocked. The way things go down in this country I’ve learned not to be too surprised about stuff anymore. I knew there was a chance he’d win I just prayed it wouldn’t happen. Since that time I’ve listened to people struggle with his impending leadership as President of the United States. So much that people were depressed. As a Black woman, I thought to myself, well that’s interesting. Our people have been marginalized so long that this is simply another bump in a long road to seeking justice and equity in this country. I also leaned on the strength of my faith that while he won the Presidency God is still in control. I refused to let him dominate my day or my thoughts and I moved on.
My Four Year Plan
My vision and goals became more imperative. If ever there was a time to get my butt in gear it was now. So when 2017 came I had already hit the ground running towards being an answer to his presidency. I knew that being successful as a mentor, leader, and visionary was more important than ever. I knew that the services and programs I offer to women would help them to leverage their power and strengths. That was the feather in my cap for why I decided to run a WomanSpeak Circle. So that all the women who attend could learn the art & soul of public speaking and unleash their voices to speak up for what they need and want, to right wrongs and stand for what they believe. I created my four year plan and I made peace with what was to come while praying for the best.
Stepping into the Future
Now don’t criticize me because we are talking about solidarity, right? I just felt the need to express myself and ask to be heard. Just like the women who felt that they couldn’t attend because their differences wouldn’t be heard. But for one day it wasn’t about the differences it was about the similarities. So, I pray that every woman that walked came away feeling rejuvenated. Validated. Empowered. Courageous. I pray that those feelings catapult her forward over the next four years and she uses them to be the change she wants to see and to hold this administration and all of our elected officials accountable. I will use this as a reminder to keep doing what I do to help women step into their greatness and be all that they can be. I leave you with this video from around the world. #Womensmarch