On the morning of January 21, I woke up to three text messages that made my chest tighten with emotion.
The first was a close-up of a woman holding her toddler son, their foreheads touching as they smiled at each other. Behind them, men, women, and children are milling about, some holding signs, some with their mouths open as if midsentence. The second was a shot of even more people huddled together, a sign waving in the air that read, “Our fight has just begun…again and again and again.” The third was a few simple words that sent me over the edge, “I marched for you.”
January 21, 2017, merely hours after the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, is a day that will forever go down in history. It was the first of 10 actions in 100 days—a promise of over 5 million women and men to make sure their voices are heard no matter what.
If you’re anything like me, you spent Saturday morning at work watching the marches from your Instagram feed. However, the men and women who “marched for me” throughout the day is what helped me feel like I was heard, too.
The main protest took place in Washington, D.C. and was attended by protestors and speakers alike, including Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood, feminist activist Gloria Steinem, actress Ashley Judd, and Madonna.
Among the women and men who marched for the cause was editors from InStyle, Vogue, and Harper’s Bazaar, standing up for the fashion community that feels most threatened by the change in government.
Fashion designer Isabel Varela, age 32, marched in New York near Trump Tower. “We have to take this as a huge warning sign that we all need to wake up and all of us individually have the power to do the right thing and be the change we want to see in the world.
“It starts with each person! It is our time now to take actions and make the world a better place for us and for our future generations,” Varela said.
Varela is a supporter of Planned Parenthood. She believes no one has the right to control another human being.
When asked to describe the experience of the march in New York, she described it as a “collaboration of individuals coming together to do the right thing.”
30-year-old Sierra Garcia marched at the San Diego Civics Center, which she described as an experience of love and solidarity.
“Not everyone marched for the same reasons but we were all there for things that were important to us and that is what brought us all together,” said Garcia. “Even a few of the speakers pointed out that we may not all agree all of the time but that’s what makes this country so great, our differences and it’s what brings us together.”
Like everyone else who attended the marches around the world, she believes it is up to us to take action. “We are the majority and we will not sit by and let the government run our lives and push ideas and values that do not represent what the majority of the American people value.”
I felt on the verge of tears when these experiences were described to me. Although I wasn’t there to be part of it, I felt loved and protected by the people who were. “The march meant three things,” said Varela. “Stand up for what you believe in, do the right thing, and be persistent.”
Again, if you’re like me and life got in the way of you attending this historical and emotional event, that doesn’t mean you’re out. You can visit the website and make your voice heard. Remember—this was only the first action out of 10 for the next 100 days. The protest has come and gone, but we are nowhere near done fighting.