” ¡Sí se puede!” Sophie shouted, ” ¡Sí se puede!” As the crowd chanted on and on, with each “¡Sí se puede!” getting faster and faster, louder and louder. I felt like I was in this sea of encouragement and love and determination. This little girl’s voice was blasted through speakers all down Independence Avenue, and the crowd rolled with the same chant. I had never felt so patriotic before. This was the America that they talk about in seventh grade civics, one of freedom and one that reverberated with the power of the people. I listened and smiled with pride in my country as I heard all the speakers, from Sophie to Alicia Keys to Carmen Perez to Linda Sarsour to Gloria Steinem talk in a way that filled my heart with hope. I’ve always been a feminist, but their words were able to say what I felt, but could never articulate. But it wasn’t just the speakers that made me feel this way, it was also the hundreds of thousands of women and men who stood with me. We were supposed to march to the White House, but it wouldn’t have been much of a walk for the crowd, who had already reached the Washington Monument, making them directly parallel on the mall from Trump’s new place of residence already. So it expanded and consumed the White House and all the streets around it. The march was an uncontainable force. I felt strong and no longer so helpless with my sister beside me, and so many other sisters, mothers, fathers, friends around me.
The Women’s March was an experience unlike any other. It made me feel so significant, yet so minuscule at the same time. I felt like a very very small part of a larger whole. All the anger and hurt and uncertainty that I had felt about this election, but also just through the experiences of my life, knowing full and well that I would not be awarded the same freedoms, positions, excuses, and dignity of a man seemed to all mean something. It all added up to something greater. Marching with half a million other women, I knew that it did. Everyone’s individual presence, shout, poster, t-shirt, it all added up to this message that was heard loud and clear around the country. That we stand for ourselves and for all. Each of us there recognized our own obstacles and privileges, and those of others. We will not let anyone destroy the progress of those that came before us, and we will make progress for all women everywhere, until we get the same bodily autonomy as men, the same pay for the same work, and the same opportunities regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual identity. It felt good to support and to be supported. It gave me this outlet to make meaningful change. And it has inspired me to continue on. The march wasn’t just a singular moment of change it was a catalyst for change. I am now more motivated to not just show support, but to actively work in the fight ( or the rebellion as Princess Lea would call it) against injustice to women. It motivated me beyond my own personal goals of breaking glass ceilings to help others to do the same. And I know that what I do may only be a small deed in the grand scheme of things, but I am not the only one. There were 500,000 other women marching on Washington that day, and even more who marched and supported the march around the United States and even around the world. I am positive that with those type of numbers, change will occur.
Here, at Johns Hopkins, it is possible to be so close to what really matters, no matter what side of politics you’re on, there is always a way to get involved and make your voice heard, both and Baltimore, and the conveniently located nation’s capital right next door.