WOMEN’S MARCH 2019 COMMITTEE
Nicole Angel • Alycia Comer-Wright, M. Ed. • Rachel Scott Everett • Kortenay Gardiner • Aljanette Hall • Chelsea Higgs Wise • Monica Hutchinson • Donna Joyce • Mary Leffler • Jasmin Munoz Ranson • Dr. Monica Morris • Carol Olsen • Alana Robinson • Seema Sked • Stephanie Younger
I MARCH for all of those who can not march for themselves. I march for all of us, but especially for women who are the backbone of our communities doing the thankless work required to keep our families safe. I march for my son and others like him who are so often targets of inequities of all kinds. I march to exalt my elders who have walked this path before me.
I march to ensure we have a seat at the tables of power that have so long been denied to us.
And finally, I march because my soul seeks peace in my journey.
Rachel Scott Everett
I MARCH because I believe in equal rights for all people, but especially women who have historically had to struggle to be heard, accepted and championed. Our fight continues.
I march to honor the women who have marched before us so their legacy may live on through us and so that future generations may not have to shoulder the same burden.
I march because I’m concerned with what’s happening in this country as an unapologetic theme of hate steadily permeates our daily lives. I march to put an end to the normalization of it.
I march to help change the narrative and shape the kind of world I want to live in. A world where respect, kindness and justice prevail.
I march to stay visible and to awaken those apathetic to what’s going on. I march to be engaged, to keep learning and to transform my despair into action.
I march because in the words of President Barack Obama, “The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something.”
CHELSEA HIGGS WISE
As a black mother, I MARCH to honor the time, space and place of each human interaction. I march to interrogate the history of my place, while unearthing the stories of my ancestors. I march to align myself with like-minded womxn so that we may take up as much space as possible. I march to disrupt the feminist practices that perpetuate the false idea of a social human hierarchy. I march to represent the intersection of an advocate and a bridge builder for peace and healing. And finally, I march to create accessible, transparent documentation for future advocates to learn from as we take on our journey to justice, for womxn, by womxn.
I MARCH because I’m concerned for this world and for this country that I love. I march because we must reject the resurgent politics of hate and division. I march for democracy. I march for decency. I march for the rights and respect of all women. I march for common sense gun laws. I march for fair and equitable health care. I march for the rights of the poor, oppressed, and marginalized. I march for the environment. I march for a strong economy guided by righteousness rather than greed. I march for love, peace and justice. I march for my ancestors, my children, and my grandchildren.
I MARCH because I believe in all womxn and want to make sure that all of Richmond, all of Virginia, all of the US, all the world knows it. I am part of this because of my desire to see all womxn alive, THRIVE, and live to their potential, as well as to honor the memory and stories of all the womxn who are not here. May they rest in power and peace and their souls be with us as we move forward all together.
Jasmin Munoz Ranson
I MARCH because “I Can.” It’s my right and my duty. Women are considered a subordinate group (minority), which means we have less power than the dominant group (men), so I stand strong and fight for equality in all forms for myself, the women beside me, and for those coming behind me. I also want to set the standard for my daughter that she should dare to disrupt the social norms and stand up for what she believe in and be who she is unapologetically!
I believe all people to be equal. I believe we must take an intersectional stance to our equality and we must bring all individuals and groups who are marginalized and oppressed into the forefront of our movement. I MARCH to bring the work of our grandmothers forward and address the impact of harm supremacy has on our generations. I March to prevent the erosion of our rights in our current and future political climates. I March to make a safer and equitable world for all of us.
I MARCH because at age 13, people would rather comment on my body than my intellect. I march because at age 14, people tried to stop me from pursuing my dreams because of my skin color.
I march for the young girl who is taught it's her fault if she gets mistreated. I march for the young Black girl whose teachers thought she had an attitude and viewed their hair as a distraction. I march for the Black women whose voices don't get the attention they deserve. I march for queer, trans and gender-nonconforming people who are judged for who they love and what pronouns they use. I march for Black and Brown youth who are incarcerated and experience gun violence at disproportionate rates.
ALYCIA COMER-WRIGHT, M. Ed.
I MARCH for all the women and girls locked away in cages. For girls and women locked away in psychiatric institutions. For girls and women held hostage in broken schools and violent communities. For girls and women living in fear of sexual, physical and mental abuse in their homes. For girls and women who at any time can be victimized due to the amount of melanin in their skin, the shape of their eyes, the accent in their speech, how they worship, who they choose to love, for being brave enough to present their authentic selves, for having a name that doesn’t sound "American".
I march for the young girl in the suburbs who looks around and struggles to find reasons to love & believe in herself because every interaction is steeped in some stereotype from a music video or television show. I march for all of us - be it in physical cages, mental cages, the cages of our skin, our religion, our sexuality, our families, and our communities. We are marching to take back our freedom and begin to heal.
I MARCH for the little girls who feel like they have no voice. I march so they know their voice is important. I march to let them know there should be no fear in sharing their voice, their story when the time is right for them - even if it is thirty years later. I encourage them to be strong, be brave, be confident and to "F.L.Y. on Purpose" (First Love Yourself).
I march to encourage women to support one another, to stand up for her.
I march for all women - the single mothers, the stay at home moms, the women without children, the women who give their life to take care of their homes, their husband, their children, their parents and their employers before taking care of themselves.
I march for equality and fairness -in the workplace, neighborhoods, schools and other public places.
I march for my fellow brown sisters and my brown brothers. I march for our rights because our black lives do matter.
I march for me - a better me. I march for my voice, my struggles of overcoming my past of abuse, discrimination and racist attacks when I was a little girl and as a grown woman. I march to give back to the community and to the girls I mentor. I march to let them know I too have past experiences that are now my testimonies.
I march for peace and love in the world.
Lastly, I march because God made it my purpose.
I MARCH for those who have marched before me and for me even before there was a me. I march for those who cannot march for themselves. I even march for those who haven't realized yet they should be marching right beside me.
I march for my three amazing black sons who each have their own world of advocacy ahead of them. My oldest is gay, my middle son is adopted, and my youngest is autistic. I march for a world where my sons have the same opportunities as others. Where my sons can feel safe and valued. I march for a world where my nieces understand they are amazing in every way and are equally valued as their brothers. I march so that my nieces never have to know the pain of being raped or sexually assaulted in any way. I march so that my sons, nephews or any other male understands they too can be victims of sexual assault and they feel safe speaking up so that we can end their pain as well.
I march for a world where colorism is no more. Where we understand ALL black is beautiful. I march for a world where no parent has to have a conversation with their preschooler or young child about racism, prejudices, sexism, gender bias, etc. I march for a world where no parent while teaching their black child how to drive also has to teach them how to interact or behave, not if but when, they are pulled over by police officers.
I march for a world where we don't have to teach our children to never, ever put your hands in your pockets while walking through a store. I march for equity and diversity in our schools. I march for equal pay. I march for a world where others no longer attempt to divide us based on our black experiences. Not all black experiences are the same, and there isn't a thing wrong with that. We are all different yet the same. My blackness is uniquely me, comprised of my life experiences and that's ok. I march for a world where we no longer have to kneel during the National Anthem. Above all I march to make those last words of the pledge of allegiance be true, " liberty and justice for all".
As a woman, I MARCH because I must. As a mother, I march because it is the right thing to do. As a doctor, I march for those who cannot and for those we have lost too soon but who should be here.
I march to bring together in love the women of the Richmond region. I march for women who can and will make change, with a power they are only now realizing. I march for women who can and will unite across social and cultural divides to make our region a more safe, healthy, and equitable home for all.
I MARCH because this movement is about more than just knowing what’s going on. Our community sees results when people take action and help to build bridges that will move our narrative forward. If i’m being honest, I’ve always been aware of the struggles of womxn and allies in this community, but did not know how to take action. And for that reason, I march to inspire others to get connected to the issues they stand for; to inspire women to stand up and work together to drive our movement forward; and to do it differently, creatively, and passionately.
I MARCH for the little ones in my life. I want this world to be worthy of them. I march for the freedom of all people. Freedom to believe what’s in their hearts, express their faith, and express their sexuality and gender. I march because love is love is love is love. I march to break through walls and replace them with bridges. I march until everyone is reunited with their families. I march until we are all free. I march to tear down concentration camps and build homes. I march until children look out of bedroom windows, instead of cages. I march until so much love enters our hearts that hate has to make an exit. I march for peace within ourselves and throughout the world. I march until a list of banned faiths, banned countries, banned skin tones, banned languages, banned genders, banned sexualities, CEASES TO EXIST.
I march for all womxn of color. I march for the sacrifice of all the womxn before me, for all the womxn marching beside me now, and for the hopes and dreams of all the womxn after me.
I march so that every girl believes they are a princess growing up to be a queen. I march for the little girl in me, who never knew how amazing her life would become.
(With gratitude to the amazing womxn who’ve educated me on how to stand up and do the work!)