Oh but what a year 2016 was! As we reflect on the recent past and look forward towards next, there seems to be a gloom and doom atmosphere that’s difficult to cut, other than to feel some relief in the oh so frequent “God help us” and “What’s to become of…” that we see everyday across social media. Or, the neutral or spineless comment of “let’s leave politics aside; we must now support our President”. Unfortunately, I can’t do that this time around.
All such reflections are important and valuable, but only to the extent that they drive us in the direction of decisive, positive and constructive actions that cause specific outcomes and make a tangible difference to real people. Women should all be inspired by the action of the Women’s March. What started as a march in Washington DC to protest the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States is now a global march rescheduled for one day after his inauguration. Sweet.
As of this writing, there are 616 marches planned and over one million people, mainly women are expected to stand up and bear the weather. I’m in in NYC!
Individual awareness and collective actions are the starting point toward a louder voice, an amplified voice. It’s clear that women are underrepresented; that there’s economic inequality for equal skills and professional levels; that women are viciously and criminally attacked and oppressed in many communities; and that the health of women is paramount to ensure the health of family and the evolution of humanity. I can’t think of a more socially important issue to address and support. This is not about the Donald. This is now much bigger than him.
As Latinas we must embrace this movement, on two counts: we are Latinas who are here to stay and we must take a stand for women. Latinas have come too far in our education and professional achievements to allow these barriers to continue to exist. As a fairly successful Puerto Rican Latina, and I say that very humbly, I feel that I have an obligation to my sisters; to the young women who are today paving their way towards their aspirations, to our daughters, nieces, granddaughters, to all women in the Hispanic community in the United States and those in our countries of origin in Puerto Rico and Latin America who don’t have a voice. I define these obligations specifically, to show up; to use our access and influence; to amplify our voices and elicit change. And I invite you to join me on this journey.
Get inspired. Be empowered. Take action. Register for the Women’s March in your city and just show up.