Marching with Strength and Dignity

One year ago, I participated in the Denver Women’s march because I believe in the words on a Freedom poster that hangs on my bedroom wall: The struggle for freedom, equality and justice transcends race, religion, political affiliation and even death. I would add that the struggle also transcends gender. Although the struggle is ongoing, this year I marched to celebrate the strengths of women.

I am proud of the women who broke years of silence about sexual assault and harassment at the hands of powerful men. I am proud of the women who rallied to support them, giving credence to their stories. Those who abuse their power have been put on notice that women expect to be treated with dignity and respect. The silence breakers proved how powerful women can be when we stand together.

Last year, I carried a poster that said, “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” This quote came from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who paraphrased the words of Theodore Parker, an abolitionist.

This year, when I thought about what to put on my poster, I initially wanted to express my anger at the “stable genius” who disparaged the people of Haiti and other countries with his profane comments. Though many people make the Women’s March about their opposition to him, for me, it is about strong women standing up for human rights.

When I searched for words about the strength of women, I found words that Solomon wrote long ago about a woman of noble character:

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25

On the flip side of my poster, I wrote:

She is:

Compassionate, courageous, wise, strong, determined, gentle, tough, and

SHE VOTES!

When I marched last year, I saw many people carrying posters with red, white and blue images of beautiful, diverse women: an African-American, a Latina, and a Muslim. I searched for Women’s March posters and found free downloadable We the People artwork. Since the inauguration, the images have been used as “symbols of hope to combat the rising power of nationalism, bigotry, and intolerance.”

I march to defend the dignity of all human beings, especially those considered unworthy by the president. I march because I want to protect the vulnerable, including the Dreamers. I march because love is greater than fear.

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