Why I Joined the Women’s March

Note: This past Saturday, NCLR joined the Women’s March on Washington as an official partner. We were honored to join the throngs of supporters who descended on the nation’s capital to march for women’s rights, but also for immigrants’ rights, LGBT equality, income equality, and a fair economy. There were a number of NCLR staffers who joined the march, including Brenda Gonzalez Ricards, our California Regional Director. Below are some of Brenda’s thoughts about her experience, as well as social media highlights from this weekend’s event.

By Brenda Gonzalez Ricards, California Regional Director, NCLR

When a work meeting was scheduled in our nation’s capital a few days after the Women’s March on Washington, I decided to arrive to the city early to participate in what I knew would be a historic event. I booked a red-eye flight and arrived in DC at 10:00am, the exact time the rally for the March began on Independence Avenue.

With my pink poster in hand, I walked a mile to join the growing sea of pink beanies worn by women, men, and children from the across the country.

The night before in Los Angeles, a group of friends and I sat around a colorful table full of Japanese and Mexican snacks to discuss the March. Many who were at the table that night are immigrants, and were also designing their signs for the Los Angeles Women’s March. Each made a toast to say why we are marching, and how we will help build resilience against policies or words that have caused fear or anxiety since November 8th.

I imagine there were many gatherings likes this happening in living rooms from New York to San Francisco, providing opportunities to discuss the purpose of the march, its platform, and its goals.

I experienced the March on Washington on my own, accepting that it would be impossible to connect with my friends or colleagues among the at least half million attendees. What I found most moving, was the intersection of issues championed by both the speakers of the rally and displayed in the signs of participants.

I saw non-Black participants with signs that said “Black Lives Matter;” I saw cis-women advocating for the trans community; I saw Catholic nuns support Muslims; I saw faces of all colors with tears in their eyes after hearing Sophie Cruz’s uplifting and powerful message to children fearing deportation.

This outpouring of support across issues was what I found most powerful. It is this building of coalitions across issues that makes me optimistic for the future and proud that NCLR was an official partner.