Thousands of both passionate women and men gathered across cities throughout the United States including Chicago, Los Angeles, and Miami to support the Women’s March on Washington. The Women’s March on January 21st, a day after the inauguration for President Donald Trump, turned into a worldwide protest in support of women’s rights and other causes including immigration reform, healthcare, LGBTQ rights, protection of the environment, as well as a number of other key issues facing the country. The first march was planned in DC, but in total official organizers noted that 408 marches were reported happening that day, making it the largest one-day protest in U.S. History, with nearly half a million in DC alone.
Booth 2nd years Alice Thompson and Andrea McPike attended the Women’s March on Washington and said it was an ‘empowering’ experience for them. Some of the key takeaways that these Boothies observed included the message that “Women tend to have to be asked to do something (like run for political office) to feel qualified to do something compared to men,” said McPike. She added, “This weekend at an event organized by the Huffington Post and Bustle called ‘Watch Us Run’, one of the all-female panels told the audience of mostly female audience ‘consider yourselves asked’ to run for office and just go for it.” Another important sentiment from the march was to “not be afraid to speak up, to say your truth, but say it with love. Anger can spark the fire, but it cannot keep the flame lit,” remarked McPike.
Many people who were Hillary supporters used the march as catharsis of emotions from the election. Alice Thompson shared some of her feelings surrounding the march saying, “When Hillary lost the election, the glass ceiling weighed heavier on my head than ever before. Today, as I marched in Washington, I felt empowered, and united with the majority of US citizens, who voted for the politics of love over the politics of hate.” Many of the people who were disheartened by the election results were able to use the March as a gathering place to share ideas and strategize on effective tactics moving forward. Renowned author and activist, Gloria Steinem, during her speech to the sea of crowds at the rally on the National Mall, said “because of people power” positive change will be possible and women’s rights will be upheld, referencing the power of the masses to invoke change. Many celebrities like Scarlett Johansson, Alicia Keys, Katy Perry and even Madonna were some of the many high profile women, who came out to show their support for this movement.
In an effort to keep up the momentum from this historic event, afterwards the organizers of the Women's March on Washington posted the "10 Actions for the first 100 Days" campaign for joint activism. For those Boothies who couldn’t make it to Washington, many came out to support the rally here in Chicago at Grant Park, which turned out to be the second largest gathering outside of DC. For more information about the continued movement and what you can do to help contribute to the 10 actions for the first 100 days, check the website https://www.womensmarch.com/100/