Tag Archives: women’s march

Women’s March on Roanoke

It began last year at a Christmas party. Djuna Osborne approached her friend, Leslie Cramer, disheartened by the post-election climate.
“In general, there was so much negativity, hate, and discrimination. Everything you heard felt like you had to fact check it on every side. It felt very wrong in terms of the core of American values,” recalls Leslie.
At this point, Djuna had the paperwork to begin planning the Women’s March on Roanoke. She was ready to do it by herself, expecting around 50 people to attend. Leslie offered to help, and the idea quickly gained traction on social media. On January 21, over 3000 people participated in the Women’s March on Roanoke. Around the nation, millions of women and men turned out for sister marches. Now, two months later, it is important to keep that momentum alive. Together, with a group of volunteers, Leslie and Djuna are doing just that on a local level.
With an election coming up in November that has the potential to reshape the Virginia House of Delegates, it is important that everyone is well-informed about the concerns of each candidate. Leslie and Djuna hope that, through group huddles over the coming months, they can find people who are willing to go out and canvas for Democratic candidates. The goal is to get people excited and actively engaged in the election process. Every single seat is important.
“We are not stuck like this for the next four years,” says Leslie. “Changes aren’t going to happen overnight. Coming together for these events with like-minded people can be very comforting mentally and emotionally.”
She makes an excellent point. For some of us new to the world of activism, shocked into the glaring reality of injustice that still exists—that has always existed beneath the rose-colored glasses of privilege—an overwhelming desire to make the world better for our sisters and friends is coupled with a fear of territory we haven’t explored. Attending meetings like those hosted by the Women’s March on Roanoke allow us to see that many of our neighbors are willing to stand up for equality despite their differences. When people feel that from their community, it inspires them to be brave. It can be in a setting as simple as a postcard writing party.
“[These events] consist of people making connections and having an enjoyable evening. We are absolutely trying to get a message across through the postcards, but it is also about creating camaraderie and support,” she adds.
Leslie and Djuna are involved with other organizations throughout the community like Roanoke Indivisible and Together We Will. They have open communication with the Roanoke City and Roanoke County Democratic Committees. Every action and meeting helps make sure elected officials are held accountable for their decisions and listening to their constituents.
For more information on the Women’s March on Roanoke and how you can get involved, check out their Facebook page: www.facebook.comwomensmarchonroanoke. They update it frequently with ways to stay connected as the movement evolves.

Written by Hayleigh Worgan

Women’s March on Washington

As a student of an all women’s university, I have been lifted into a family of strong, bold women who are not easily shut down when working towards a greater cause. Our newest opportunity is the Women’s March on Washington taking place January 21, 2017 from 10am-5pm. Granting us the leisure of buses, anyone can sign up to go. Some plan to attend the march, others will go in support. Even if they feel they aren’t ready for the crowd of people, they can go simply to explore the city. They are giving us this opportunity to expand our horizons, see new places, and make a difference.
People of all backgrounds, gender identities or gender non-conforming, feminists, and ages are welcome. There will be special arrangements and meeting points for the elderly, pregnant women, and those with disabilities or a wheelchair. Our diverse community and familial backgrounds are what makes America the “melting pot” that it is known to be. It is adamant within the official website of the march that every effort to maintain peace and solidarity will be made.
As we have been for years, we are fearful of our future regarding our pay, our everyday safety, our health, and our families. If we continue to let oppressors believe we are easily silenced, they win. It would be wrong to sit back while decisions against our human rights are being made. We are louder as a group, for when people work together for a cause, it induces change.
Feminism shouldn’t be perceived as a “dirty” word, or something masked by a taboo. Being a feminist solely means that you believe in the equality of the sexes. You believe in basic human rights to protect, if not yourself, then your mother, sister, or daughter.
I want the best future for all of the woman in my life, and I want the best opportunities for the women surrounding me in the classroom. I am eternally grateful to have chosen a university that allows me a voice despite opposing political opinions, and that it gives me a chance to express it no matter the circumstances.
More information regarding the march can be found here.

 

Written by Zoë Pierson