The Rise of a Humanitarian Crisis in the United States

Written By; Jammi H.B. | Board Chair - Women's March Minnesota

Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul.
— Coretta Scott King
Image by Duana Grange (copyright 2018)

We Are Once Again In Extraordinary Times

Saturday saw an outpouring of Minnesotans onto the streets of Minneapolis on an extraordinary June day.  

Extraordinary in that it was over 90 degrees, and extraordinary in that we had to take to the streets to protest the SEPARATION of children from their parents and the CAGING of them in ill-equipped shuttered Walmarts along our Southern border.

With chants of “THIS is what democracy looks like” and shirts reading “No human being is Illegal” and “I Really DO Care” and signs that read “Abolish Ice” and “My outrage is too much for this sign” thousands of us marched through downtown.

Make no mistake, we are experiencing a humanitarian crisis.  At the very least we are once again at a crossroads. No matter your value system, surely we can all agree that children are best raised with their own parents, that we are the country that invites refugees and asylum seekers to our shores with the promise of a better life (I know that is how my ancestors got here), and that some horrible choices have been made in our country’s history. The United States has a long history of taking black and brown children from their families.  We cannot stand idly by and allow this to happen along our borders, nor can we stand by and let this happen in our home communities through mass incarceration and unequal criminalization of non-violent crimes.

Women, our time is now.  Lives continue to be on the line.  We must continue to fight for our families, our children, our neighbors’ children, the children we don’t know, and the children that are coming to find refuge here every day.  We must remain vigilant, noisy, and determined.

There are more attacks to come – attacks on our bodies, our livelihoods, the environment, and our right to live in safe communities with choice and agency and self-determination. We must come together to have our voices heard - we must unite.  Talk to your friend, your neighbor, your colleague, to that woman at the coffee shop, at the community center, at the grocery store.  Join us to protest, to plan, to listen and to activate. We all are better together.

I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.
— Audre Lorde

Show up – to support a march of 30,000 or 30, to register new voters, to restore the vote to people who have served their time, to support a woman candidate, to give someone a ride, a break, a kind word, or to make the changes that will REALLY will make America great again. Give an even an hour of your time – in an hour you can call 20 volunteers for a candidate, you can plan voter registration at your local high school or library, you can arrange a mini-protest at your congressional office. SHOW UP.

Now is not the time to waiver, be complacent, or tire.  Now is the time we knew would come – it is the time for strength, courage, and action.Use your voice to share the concerns, the ideas, and the leadership of the communities that are being harmed. Step outside of your circle of friends.  Attend an event you usually wouldn’t go to – learn how to amplify the voices of those in the struggle.

Use your voice to say “ENOUGH,” and that it is time to build something new and better. Something that works for all of us.