On January 21st, 2017 thousands of women will descend on the nation’s capital and congregate in cities around the nation the day after Donald Trump takes office to fight for women’s equality and defend marginalized populations. Motivated by the vicious language of Trump’s campaign that threatened and insulted immigrants, POC, Muslims, the LGBTQIA community, native people, disabled people and sexual assault survivors, the organizers of the movement seek to send a message to those in power that we will stand united to defend human rights.
HB spoke to one of the organizers, Nantasha Williams, about what you need to know before you join the march in your city and around the country. Williams, who ran for office in the 33rd Assembly District in Queens, New York, calls Women’s March organizer Tamika Mallory, a ‘big sister’ who asked her to join the empowerment effort. The request was timely for Williams, who was already planning her next big step after coming close to winning her local election. Living by the motto, ‘If you don’t have a seat at the table, you are on the menu,’ Williams joined the movement, and dropped these major keys about empowerment, organization, and using your voice.
- Intersectionality is paramount to the success of the movement. “If you have one monolithic voice, you aren’t speaking for the women in this country and their families,” Williams told HB. Noting the historical divide between White feminists and Black feminists, Williams reinforces the importance of unity and representation. “In this day and age, especially after this past presidential race and that rhetoric, we need to make sure Black women, Latino women, Muslim women are all apart of the conversation and have a definitive say in shaping the country’s agenda for women and their families.” This march is one of many steps towards inclusivity so every woman is represented in the reshaping of political and social policy.
- We’re All In This Together. Even though Williams helped organize the event, she said there are no ‘experts.’ Which means, novices welcomed. “This is the first time I’ve been involved in something like this. I’ve worked in government, I’ve been somewhat involved in different activist activities in New York, but I’ve never participated in an event of this caliber of resistance,” she explained. This march definitely welcomes every woman whether it’s her first march or her 100th.
- Come Prepared. Since most of the activities will take place outside, it’s important to make sure you are dressed appropriately and have what you need for the day. “No wooden signs. Keep a small bag. Dress for the weather,” Williams told HB.
- Read Up On the Tentpoles Of The Movement. Know what you’re marching for. The organizers of the Women’s March have outlined key principles that are the staple of the movement. The principles include ending violence, reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, worker’s rights, civil rights, disability rights, immigrant rights, and environmental justice. You can read more details about each tentpole here.
For more information, head over to the resources page for the march.