At the Women’s March on Washington, and at hundreds of Sister Marches around the world on January 21, 2017 we sent a strong message:
We won’t go back.
The marches illustrated exactly the kind of work the Ms. Foundation for Women supports: grassroots activism that champions inclusion and community building.
What happens now is critical for the future of equality and women. If we’re going to build on the success of the march, we need to double down on our work. I joined millions of people who took to the streets to non-violently protest inequality and commit to support women and centering women of color. We walked with allies who committed to fight alongside us every step of the way.
A couple of days before the march, the Ms. Foundation launched our video We Won’t Go Back which was viewed more than a million times and shared by feminists and influencers all over the world, including Ava DuVernay and Kerry Washington.
On Friday night we joined URGE, a grantee partner that works to promote positive sexuality and reproductive justice, for a poster painting party. The event featured a panel with Women’s March Co-Chair Linda Sarsour and former press secretary and CNN Political Commentator Symone Sanders. The vibe of the room was incredible – everyone seemed to sense we were on the verge of a moment that would resonate globally.
On Saturday, we heard from Co-Founding Mother Gloria Steinem, Angela Davis, Van Jones, and from women doing work on the ground, including grantee partners Monica Simpson (SisterSong), Jessica Gonzalez Rojas (NLIRH), Sung Yeon Choi-Morrow (NAPAWF), and Keirra Johnson (URGE). Our President and CEO, Teresa Younger, joined elected officials from across the country on stage as they spoke about what was at stake in Congress. Then we marched with supporters, grantees, friends, family, board members, and press, raising our voices together to demand justice.
The evening ended with a town hall where women from across the country, including current and past grantee partners, stakeholders, and marchers, met to plan for the future and discuss what should be done next. In the true spirit of the Ms. Foundation, we encouraged those around us to stand up for what they know is right and invest in grassroots organizations.
On Sunday we partnered with the United State of Women, Planned Parenthood, and the National Domestic Workers Alliance to offer an Action and Advocacy training for those in town for the march. The event gathered more than 2,000 activists. We held issue-based discussions around reproductive justice, economic justice, and criminal justice reform, and ran training sessions on how to run for office and storytelling.
It was a great weekend – but we know what happens after the march is just as critical. Donald Trump’s administration and allies are already taking actions that directly affect women’s health, safety, and wellbeing. As Jessica Pierce from BYP100 said on Saturday, what’s at stake right now is literally everything. Saturday wasn’t a one-and-done protest, but a jumping off point for the hard work ahead.
We won’t go back. Help us keep marching forward with a gift today.
See our video We Won’t Go Back – and share.