by Mayra Alaniz
Is the Women’s March for me? Would I go to the march as a woman? A student? A Latina? A child of immigrant parents? These were the questions that ran through my mind last Saturday morning. As a student at Georgetown University, questioning is part of our daily discourse. Discussions about female empowerment turn into debates about the suffragette movement's struggle to be more inclusive. Despite my hesitation, I decided I had to experience the march for myself. A group of eight Latino friends left Georgetown together; if nothing else, we agreed that at least this would be a time to be in solidarity with one another. We arrived at the Mall to find it flooded with a sea of people holding signs. “Build Bridges not Walls.” “No hate. No fear. Immigrants are Welcome Here.” Under each sign was a different person and that difference legitimized my own differences – woman, student, Latina -- and the importance of not only being in this march, but in this country. Around me I saw a Muslim mother, an African American family, a retired teacher. They were there for me and I was there for them. I – we -- belonged. The solidarity at the march was not in spite of differences, but an embrace of them. I’m looking forward to continuing those debates back at school but somehow the issues don’t seem so academic any more. Si se puede has become more than just a slogan. Because I was there on Saturday.
Alaniz is a Union Cities intern.