Author: Allison Albitz
Graphics Design: Dori Cawley
With chilly weather and cloudy skies in the forecast, it is unlikely that many Washington D.C. residents will have a desire to go for a stroll this Saturday, January 21. Nevertheless, thousands of men and women will be taking to the streets to march to the U.S. Capitol for the Women’s March on Washington (WMW).
The march is a grassroots campaign coordinated by numerous leaders in the D.C. area, and is an effort to provide visibility for many marginalized groups that were negatively affected by the past election cycle. The WMW website (www.womensmarch.com) identifies these groups as, “immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LQBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, [and] survivors of sexual assault.”
The website also states that, “The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on the first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights.”
Chatham University’s history aligns well with the mission of the march, so it is no surprise that many students and faculty members will be making the over four-hour journey to Washington to participate in the WMW.
Maya Carey, a junior political science major, does not take her ability to participate in the march for granted. “Even my ability to go to this march comes with a lot of privilege because I have the money to afford a bus ticket and the privileged of living close enough to DC so that I can stay there over the weekend. It is a privilege to be able to attend.” Carey is motivated to attend because she is, “tired of watching our legislators walk over the lives of women, queer people, people of color, disabled people, immigrants/migrants, and all of those whose voices have been silenced.”
Katherine Cruger, an assistant professor in the Communication department and the director of the Master of Professional Writing program, expressed her belief in seeking justice for all marginalized groups. “I believe that justice for those of non dominant gender is justice for people of color is economic justice is environmental justice.”
Cruger too recognized the privilege that comes from her ability to participate. “Weighing the inconvenience of taking action against the strength of our conviction in an ideal is a conundrum disproportionately enjoyed by the privileged people like myself.
Though there is not an organized group of Chatham community members attending together, Maria Duarte, a senior psychology student, is attending with a group from the Sustainable Impact Team (SIT). “All of the people going are members of SIT or SIT supporters.”
In addition to the WMW, there are sister marches happening on January 21 all over the world. The Women’s March website states that there are currently 616 registered sister marches with over a million marchers taking place. There are multiple solidarity events happening around Pittsburgh, including The Pittsburgh Sister March beginning at the City County Building at 11:00 a.m.
The Chatham Communiqué encourages those in attendance to stay safe in the midst of opposition. It is sure to be an interesting weekend in Washington, the United States, and the world.