The Women’s March resonated with AAUW members and friends as evidenced by our participation. In spite of questionable weather and minimal organizing, at least 30 branch members say they participated on Jan. 21. Some marched with family and friends. Some marched with other organizations that are concerned with the status of women, including a Girl Scout troop, churches, and the Crocker Museum. Husbands, daughters and their families joined marchers. One of our 80-year-old members proudly came with her family. We were joined by several of our CSUS students and members of other branches, including a member of Modesto AAUW who came with a friend from a small mountain community.
I believe that we all came for our own reasons. Probably few are passionate about all of the concerns expressed, but all of the issues can affect women and girls — health care, reproductive rights, K-12 education, access to higher education, equal pay, gender rights, voter rights, immigrant’s rights, discrimination, climate change, environmental protection, among others.
The atmosphere was open and accepting like none I can remember. We talked to strangers. Hopefully this feeling of goodwill among concerned individuals will carry over to mobilizing for the results we hope to achieve. We need to pay attention to the articles from our public policy team and use the 2-Minute Activist to contact our representatives. Respond when we have training for lobbying our state legislature, and come out to lend your voices. Know who your state and national representatives are and be in touch. Reports say that 1 in 100 Americans marched and 1 in 45 in California did. Our branch was closer 1 in 8. To paraphrase Gloria Steinem, we put our bodies where our beliefs are! I wouldn’t have missed it.
Check out your neighborhood newspaper for Leigh Stevens’ article on the march. Three of us are quoted — it helps to know the author!
Check out this site for marches around the world.