Women’s March on South Bend
On Jan. 21, the day after the presidential inauguration, millions of people on all seven continents marched for women’s rights. The marches were a coordinated event by civil rights leaders around the country who, after the results of the election, decided to have a Women’s March in Washington, DC. The mission, as stated on the Women’s March website, was to “send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights.” The event grew quickly, with groups in cities around the world organizing marches to coincide with the one on Washington. According to the website, the March on Washington inspired 673 Sister Marches occurring in cities across the country with, according to The Atlantic, an estimate of 4.6 million marchers around the world.
The closest Sister March to Andrews University occurred in downtown South Bend, Indiana. The march began in front of the Morris Performing Arts Center. Various press outlets estimate between 1,000 to 3,000 marchers participated in the event. After a speech from South Bend’s Mayor Pete Buttigieg, the marchers began to circulate up and down Michigan Street with homemade signs and chants.
Nina Vallado (senior, documentary film) was one of several Andrews students who participated in the march. Vallado explained, “I marched on Saturday to stand for women who are voiceless and neglected. Marching and voicing my concerns about the next four years brought me hope, knowing the community around me will fight for me and I for them.”
For myself, marching was a cathartic experiencing in reminding myself and showing the new administration that there are an abundance of people of diverse genders, religions, races, ethnicities, nationalities, age, abilities and sexual orientations willing to fight for the rights of marginalized people whose lives and identities are threatened by the ideologies we will be subjected to for the next four years.
Additionally, the march was a signifier for a beginning of continuous action. This is the hope of the organizers of the Women’s March, that it will inspire people around the country to continue to stand up for civil rights. On their website, the organizers plan to post specific actions which advocates can participate in, beginning with their campaign, “10 Actions, 100 Days” (www.womensmarch.com/100). Anyone interested can join to, as the website states, “raise our voices” and “make history.”