Walking In Her Shoes at the Inauguration and the Women’s March on Washington

Walking In Her Shoes at the Inauguration and the Women’s March on Washington

1/23/17

On Saturday morning when we hosted our warming spot and nursing station a few blocks away from the march location, just as we had done the day before near the inauguration parade, we hoped it would be a popular gathering spot.  We’d heard that people were telling friends to “meet me at CARE’s place” before and during the march.  We’d sent out word that mothers could use our space to nurse their babies or grab some coffee and recharge their batteries (literally and figuratively).  What no one fully anticipated was how many people would take us up on that offer.

We were thrilled to have so many visitors wanting to say hi, learn a little about our work and share their thoughts on how we can partner together going forward. We had so many visitors that the hotel staff started turning people away (for which we were truly regretful – our apologies to anyone who showed up and was not able to make it in! We’re so sorry we missed you!) 

While we were in the warming station talking with friends old and new, our podcaster and videographer walked around the crowd all day long, asking questions like, “What does the phrase, Now more than ever, mean to you?” Person after person responded, “Now more than ever, we need to stand together.  We need to stand up for women.  We need to make our voices heard.”  When they asked, “Why are you here today?” the varied responses created a central theme:  “I’m here today so that our leaders and the entire world know that I stand in solidarity with all women and girls.”  They spoke about how this solidarity flowed from core values – equality, justice, compassion, diversity, and inclusiveness. At times their responses were flavored by hope, and others by frustration.  But always grounded in a commitment to taking action in ways big and small. Perhaps above all, what struck all of us was the sense of joy that was so evident throughout the crowds of hundreds of thousands. There was a sense of celebration and community.

After two days of speaking with Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and the apolitical, we concluded this weekend with an unmistakable feeling of optimism. We have always believed that the will to overcome global poverty – and bring an end to the inequalities that are at the root of poverty – transcends partisanship. It’s bigger than the political fights that too often divide us.  We remain deeply committed, now more than ever, to working with people of all backgrounds and affiliations who want to work together to make change happen. Who want to bring about a world where poverty has been overcome and every woman, man, girl and boy lives with dignity and equal access to fundamental human rights.

We thank you all for joining us on this historic weekend and throughout the rest of our #WalkInHerShoes campaign, and we invite you to take your advocacy a step further.  Explore the CARE Action website; read about the actions you can take today to continue standing up for women in the world.  Then, join us to make changes happen in your community, your state and across the country that will impact lives globally.  Now, more than ever, we must stand in solidarity.  Today and every day we must Walk In Her Shoes.  

Rachael Leman

Executive Director

CARE Action

 

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