Six months ago, today I stood in front of 110,000 (St. Paul officials have since reexamined their photos and surveillance from Jan 21, 2017 and increased their attendance estimates) of my friends some lifelong but most new, and through my tiny megaphone lead all of you brave souls from St. Paul College to the State Capitol.
Most of you have no idea who I am. You never noticed me that day; as the march pacer it was my job to keep the march moving along and to stay out of the pictures. I watched my five-year-old, mixed-race, daughter stand with some of the most important women in the State of Minnesota and proudly carry our Women’s March Minnesota Banner, and I knew there was hope.
And you don’t know that I’ve been here every day since, working behind the scenes to help build this movement.
Today I want to briefly step forward and remind you of all the wonderful work that we are all doing, and also tell you how proud I am of each and every one of you.
You’ve made phone calls, written postcards, attended marches and rallies, donated, educated yourself and others, and built a movement.
We are showing up as we never have before, and while it is exhausting and often disheartening work we are making a difference. We are learning to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters of all races and religions. We stood up against the administration's racist, sexist and islamophobic policies. We are fighting to preserve our environment for ourselves and our children. We are supporting our LGBTQIA brothers and sisters. We are working to end violence in this country and change the hateful rhetoric that was sparked by this election cycle.
We are so honored that you have continued to March with us over the last six months as we:
Established the Messy Conversation Series
Attended and helped with; the Tax March, the Science March, the Equality March, the March for Healing and Justice for Justine + ALL killed by the police, the Pride Parade, the rally for Philando at the Capitol
Rallied for ERA at the Capitol and at the Maple Grove Parade
Wrote to our Elected Officials
Participated in Resistance Recess in February
Attended action fairs, tabled at events and spoke on panels
Rallied outside Rep Paulsen and Rep Lewis’ offices
Established partnerships with organizations across our diverse communities
This is just a sampling of what we have done, even more important than these actions are the relationships we are building together, the learning we are doing together, and the change we will make - together.
We still have a lot of work to do as we uphold our eight unity principles: ending violence, reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, workers rights, civil rights, rights for people with disabilities, immigrant rights and environmental justice.
When I’m tired and disheartened, when I think things are going to hell in a handbasket and I just want to go take a long nap, I remember all of you. You inspire me; let’s keep marching onward.
Thank you for being on this journey with me.
On behalf of the Women’s March Minnesota Steering Committee,