On Jan. 21, 2017, Women’s March Minnesota made history.
It began a week and a half after Donald Trump’s election, when 43 women gathered in a library in the suburbs of the Twin Cities. All of us were worried about our own futures and those of the people we loved. Almost none of us had been politically active in the past; none of us had ever planned or organized a march on the scale we envisioned. Still, we wanted to send the new president a message the day after he took power: hear our voice.
We had eight weeks to make it happen.
We held more meetings, and our numbers grew. Members of newly-formed committees sent emails before we went to work or late at night or when the kids were asleep or had a baby-sitter or whenever we had a spare moment. We got permits, figured out logistics, reached out to hundreds of people to volunteer as parade marshals. We estimated as many as 30,000 people might show up.
More than three times that number did.
No one who was there Jan. 21, 2017 will ever forget the sight of the ocean of marchers spreading out from the steps of the State Capitol. 100,000 people listened peacefully to music, speeches and the message that positive change is possible, that our country can and must move forward instead of backward.
Now, the movement that began with 43 women in a library has only just begun.