On January 21st, the day after President Trump took office, activists flooded the streets of Washington D.C. With an expected turnout of 200 to 300 thousand, march organizers and marchers were overwhelmed with the 1.5 million marchers who came. Marchers filled the entire route planned for the march, and a new route had to be established. Local marches were held in all 50 states as well as many countries around the world, totally over 5 million marchers.
While Trump’s presidency and policies were influential in the march, the march addressed many of women’s issues today, such as reproductive health care, equal pay, LGBTQ+ rights, insurance coverage, Planned Parenthood, inclusivity, harmful rhetoric, Trump’s appointed cabinet members, and much more. The movement intended to include all issues of civil rights.
The Women’s March intends to keep the spirit and activism of the march going with their new campaign, “10 Actions / 100 Days”. For the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency, there will be 10 major actions. The first is sending post cards and letters to your respective representatives in support of an issue of your choosing. Some suggestions from the Women’s March organizers were LGBTQ+ rights, worker’s rights, civil rights, women’s health and reproductive rights, immigrant rights, religious freedom, environmental justice, and more.
The Center for Women and Gender Studies organized a bus trip to the march with over 50 marchers; other buses from surrounding areas in West Virginia also traveled to D.C. for the march. Here on some thoughts from those that went with us:
“This experience was one of the most liberating and empowering things I have ever done. It may honestly be the best day of my life. I felt safe among hundreds of thousands of people for the first time in my life, and I also felt like things are going to be okay if we continue to work together and use our voices.” – Daniel W. Brewster, Instructor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology
“Being someone who has privilege from observable characteristics, I was hesitant to attend. However, going to this march and seeing people from all walks of life really showed me the power of this movement. I am so glad I got to be part of something so special, so powerful, and so inclusive.” – R. Kyle Saunders, Doctoral Student, Department of Sociology and Anthropology
“I’ll tell my kids about this, the day we marched on the Capital and took over the city. I’ve never felt so important, so loved, and so heard. We made history, and all of us will never forget what we did that day.” – Kaitlyn Akers
“The Women's March on Washington gave me hope. Hope because of the children participating and engaging in the march but also because now I know there are millions of others that carry my same beliefs and are going to help us get to an America that we believe in.” – Ashley Morgan
“More than anything the March made me hopeful about our future. I was awed by the spirit of cooperation, intersectionality and the energy of the organizers and the marchers.” – T. Anne Hawkins
“I was so uplifted by attending the march. From the moment of stepping on the Metro, to joining the throngs, to marching along the mall, I appreciated the opportunity to engage in conversation with other marchers and see the creative and collective responses to the hateful rhetoric, dark tone and threats to our wellbeing coming from the incoming presidential administration. Signs reflected a mixture of humor, art, comradery, and yes, anger. There was an overall tone of excitement in meeting others who shared our concerns for the future and determination in not allowing our country to move backward. I am encouraged to now participate in the 10 actions for the first 100 days that the march is organizing. I hope those who couldn’t attend but who want to participate will find ways to join the resistance there.” – Karen Diaz