A March For Our Future: A Reflection on the Women’s March
by Haley Carolyn Taylor Schlitz
As a 14 year old girl, mass marches and protest are often something my friends and I can only truly relate to in our history courses. Over the past 8 years we have had the luxury to live at a time where the Presidency of Barack Obama meant that we lived in a world with no limits. In our world, we believe that our race, ethnicity and gender will not be the barriers that they have been before. We believe in hope and the “Yes we can”.
At the same time, we are coming of age where movements like Black Lives Matter, are raising a new call for equality and justice for all. We are living in a time of contrasting and powerful images. Just last month we could easily turn on the TV and see that our nation’s First Family looked exactly like our own. On the exact same day, we could also see young children of color being targeted by police for no reason, other than the fact that they were the wrong shade of skin color in the wrong part in town.
mass marches and protest are often something my friends and I can only truly relate to in our history courses
This past election we heard so many voices say so many things. We heard calls to “go high” as we watched just how low others could go. We saw an America that we could not understand. How could a nation that elected President Obama turn into a nation of open hate towards others, simply because of their skin color, gender or religion? My generation was facing an America that we had been taught in history no longer existed. But here we were and it was a reality we had to accept if we were going to stand up and fight it.
Two weeks ago, my generation saw the continuation of a movement that connects us to our own history. We saw how Congressman John Lewis had marched to end segregation and was now standing tall again in the face of a new threat to equality. We saw millions of women of all skin colors and religions unite to say they will never allow our voices to go unheard. We saw our own friends join in these marches and realize that, although we are only teens, our voices have power too.
We ask that, as hard as it may be each day to fight for equality, you continue to fight and give my friends and I the time we need to reach the door you are holding open for us.
During the march, I was also reminded by my mother that we cannot forget that, for women of color, we are often pushed to the sides in these discussions around gender. Movies such as Hidden Figures show my friends and I that there are still untold stories about the women who came before us and allowed us to be here today.
As a young girl of color who loves STEM/STEAM, I want to share with the women who came before me that your stories and lives do matter. I want to scream with all my voice that we see you and we so desperately need you to keep pushing. We ask that, as hard as it may be each day to fight for equality, you continue to fight and give my friends and I the time we need to reach the door you are holding open for us.
The rest of the world may say you are hidden, but to us girls of color you are serving as a beacon of light calling out to us with a clear path to follow. We thank you for taking time out of your lives to serve as role models for us. We thank you for being willing to stand up and go high when all those around you are going low to tear you down. We thank you and want you to know that there is a generation of girls of color marching behind you that will walk through the doors you are fighting to hold open and make you proud.
Editor’s Note: We love how the women’s march highlighted for Haley the important work that women are doing now both in terms of resistance and advancement. Share your thoughts about the women’s march as well!
Cover image and image of Women’s March poster courtesy of Primus Visum Photography.
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