Three activists from Michigan, New York, and Vermont are sharing personal testimonies about why they are attending the Women’s March in Washington, DC on January 21st.
With more than 150,000 estimated attendees, including a coalition of groups and allies ranging from Planned Parenthood to the NAACP, it’s “expected to be the largest demonstration linked to Donald Trump’s inauguration,” according to the Washington Post.
“The Women’s March on Washington’s root cause is that of women’s rights and safety,” writes Lindsey Romain in Teen Vogue, “but it has become something of a blanket event for other national concerns under the Trump administration, like gun control and immigration.”
This is reflected in the personal testimonies from the three women, who are marching not only to protest the anti-woman stances of the upcoming Donald Trump Administration, but to also continue raising national awareness of issues like the ongoing lack of safe drinking water in Flint.
Chia Morgan, Michigan:
“I could not be more excited. For me, this is not just another trip, or a getaway from mommy duties, or all the work that I do as a social worker or in the community. It’s a chance to get together with women from all over the country and hear about the issues that are really impacting their lives and find out why they are fighting.”
“I’m fighting for my 4-year-old daughter. I don’t accept ‘can’t’ from her. I’ve always taught her that she can do anything she puts her mind to. I march to ensure that there are no glass ceilings that will ever derail her goals or stop her from reaching any goals that she has set for herself.”
“Also, I’m a resident of Flint, Michigan. As you may know, we’ve been without clean water for 985 days. I’m marching to let the government know that we will not give up. We want all of the pipes replaced; we want these children who have been poisoned with lead to be taken care of.”
Tereza Lee, New York:
“I was undocumented for 22 years, and I’m marching on the 21st. I am bringing with me the undocumented community of uptown Manhattan and allies to tell Trump that if he goes too far, he’s going to face consequences. There is a strong force, a strong opposition movement that they need to be aware of and notice. We’re going to do everything that we can to put political pressure on him and his Administration. The majority of people support the Dream Act and comprehensive immigration reform, and also as a mom of two, I want to be able to tell my kids that I did everything I could to make their future a better place.”
Charlotte Mancivalano, Vermont:
“I march for the rights of the LGBT+ community and to promote diversity in our country and internationally, and to protect queer and allied youth.”
“Women deserve to live full and healthy lives, free of violence against our bodies,” note the march organizers in their newly-released platform. “One in three women have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime; and one in five women have been raped.”
“Further, each year, thousands of women and girls, particularly Black, indigenous and transgender women and girls, are kidnapped, trafficked, or murdered. We honor the lives of those women who were taken before their time and we affirm that we work for a day when all forms of violence against women are eliminated.”
A week before the Women’s March, immigrant families and their allies will also hold a National Day of Action in more than 70 cities to prevent deportations, support DACA, and continue to expand sanctuaries of safety. The Women’s March platform also contains affirmation of these pro-immigrant values, stating that “rooted in the promise of America’s call for huddled masses yearning to breathe free, we believe in immigrant and refugee rights regardless of status or country of origin.”
“It is our moral duty to keep families together and empower all aspiring Americans to fully participate in, and contribute to, our economy and society.” the platform continues. “We reject mass deportation, family detention, violations of due process and violence against queer and trans migrants.”
“Immigration reform must establish a roadmap to citizenship, and provide equal opportunities and workplace protections for all. We recognize that the call to action to love our neighbor is not limited to the United States, because there is a global migration crisis. We believe migration is a human right and that no human being is illegal.”
More inspiring testimonies from Women’s March attendees can be found in the #WhyIMarch hashtag.