There are so many reasons why I wanted to join the Atlanta March for Social Justice and Women, however I decided to make a big sign that said “I’m With Her” pointing to Mother Earth, and “People, Plant, Peace, Over Profit” on the back.
My main area of activism has always been centered around earth care. I feel compelled to speak for the life on this planet that has no voice, but which has been subjected to many of the same traumas that women have faced – exploitation, commodification, degradation, devaluation, and assault. Whether people attack the earth or women, the mindset is the same – there is a blatant disregard their sacredness and inherent worth. The perpetrators ignore the fact that the earth and women are the givers and sustainers of life – and should be honored and revered not abused and violated. If we do not learn how to be in right relationship with the earth, it is hard to imagine how we can solve our cultural problems – especially as climate change leads to scarce resources and more mass migrations.
The March for Women and Social Justice in Atlanta was an inspiring and powerful experience. Signs and chants ranged from serious to hilarious and from the sacred to profane. While I personally do not think personal attacks on politicians are helpful to our cause, I honor the spectrum and that we all have the right to freedom of speech.
One of the speakers at the end of the march encouraged us to “Educate! Advocate! and Agitate!” When civil rights icon, John Lewis, thanked us for “Never giving up or giving in” and encouraged us to “Be bold, be brave, be courageous, speak up and speak out and find a way to get in the way,” I felt like the threads of history weaving together with this current movement. I hope that this movement learns from their powerful lessons of perseverance and non-violence.
One of the most moving experiences was seeing a little white, red-headed girl, in a shiny-red raincoat and cute rain boots, holding her father’s hand fervently yelling “Black Lives Matter.” As a woman who identifies as white, the feeling that the next generation will never question this truth brought tears to my eyes and my friend who I was with, who identifies as African-American said, “Seeing her, gives me hope for the future.”
May this march, and those around the world, build momentum for effective action as we work towards a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world.