“Marching Forward” is a new series of guest blogs about the demonstrations, protests, and women’s marches that happened during Inauguration Weekend.
I asked women, and women-identifying people, of color if they felt about the march, whether they felt that the march – which initially lacked representation by women of color in leadership roles – met their expectations, and ways that they think people can use the momentum of the weekend to make changes in their community. If you would like to contribute your experiences, please use this form. #WOCMarchingForward
by Nataly Escobedo Garcia, who participated in the demonstrations in Los Angeles, CA
“At first I was very hesitant to attend the march, not because I didn’t believe in the message, but because this felt like a march created by white women, for white women. Being an immigrant and a woman of color, I have to worry about more than just my rights as a cis woman. I spent my entire childhood undocumented in this country and only became a citizen five years ago. I have had everything from wetback, beaner and even terrorist yelled at me. While I believe in fighting for my rights as a womxn, that often comes secondary to just fighting to be seen and treated like a human.
“Being an immigrant and a woman of color, I have to worry about more than just my rights as a cis woman.”
Still, there was a small voice inside of me that kept telling me I would regret not going, so I attended. When I first arrived, I was still a bit unsure of me decision. Everywhere I looked, a sea of white bodies surrounded me. Still, I kept walking. Then came the moment that changed the March for me, a little brown boy, marching with his mother carrying a sign that said “Build more schools, not walls”. I asked his mother if I could take a picture of him and the handsome little fella gave me a big smile. At that moment I felt stupid for even considering not attending the march.
“There was a small voice inside of me that kept telling me I would regret not going, so I attended.”
The problems this presidency are posing as so large, now is not the time to second guess doing anything possible to have our voice heard. Some don’t believe the demonstration achieved much, on a personal level, that march was exactly what I needed as a reminder of everything that is at stake. While I don’t know that I felt completely included in the mission of the march, I’ve never felt included in this country or academia, yet I have managed to carve out a space for myself in both, so why should that stop me from carving out a space in that march? In this movement?
“Now is not the time to second guess doing anything possible to have our voice heard.”
The march was only the beginning of my political mobilization. I will be working closely with the student government at my school to make sure people are informed about our political system and are ready come elections on Nov 1st 2018 when we will take back the House. I do not know what this presidency has in store for us, but before we can do anything to stop it, we must educate ourselves. That is our greatest tool against this presidency and that is where my efforts will be concentrated.”