As a little girl, my mother would tuck my younger twin sisters and me into bed at night. I remember one night after uniformly reciting “Now I lay me down to sleep”, I asked my mother why we say “A-men” at the end of the prayer. Though I do not recall her response, I made a decision right then and there that trailed me for at least a decade. Surrounded by the loving power of my family, I decided to finish all of my prayers, instead with an “A-Women”.
Twenty five years later, it amazes me how that small assertion of equality has framed my world view. As a human resources professional, I’ve made it my career to build diverse, accomplished and effective teams. It is my personal and professional mission to coach, mentor and engage talented female professionals. Naturally, when President Trump was elected, I found it characteristically appropriate to act.
That is how I found myself with my brother and sister-in-law marching down the streets of Washington D.C. on the twenty first of January. So much about life is about ‘showing up’ and it was important to me that I was there to both support and ignite a movement I believe in. Seeing the many inspiring speakers at the march added a new title to my repertoire — activist. The emotions felt that day fueled my desire to take action in my community for what I believe is a long fight ahead.
My participation in the Women’s March also signified my first trip away from my 11 month old son. Coming home to Chicago, as I rocked my son to sleep, I thought about what the march meant to me and how I could explain it to him one day. I started to write and found myself up all night writing what I can only describe as a protest lullaby — to my son, to the nation, to the world. A portion of the story is featured below:
Hush now child, don’t be scared
Your mamas are united and prepared
The winds of change, they call to us
On planes and trains, even on a bus
We walk the streets, like many before
Standing together, demanding more
Trusting that love is love is love is love
And no one man should come above
The foundation of what we hold is true
That the world is not made for the few
I believe that the story I wrote reinforces the meaning of the movement in a way that children (and parents) can understand. I am currently working on publishing this story to help further benefit the movement.
The Women’s March for me was not a day, but a symbol that reconnected me to the child I was so long ago and the woman I hope to be moving forward. I found my voice after the march and I am fiercely using that voice to be a beacon of hope, advocacy and support. The uniting and loving message of Women’s March inspired millions to pursue a more perfect union where all are created equal. The audacity and urgency of this dream, felt by thousands, inspired me to follow my own.
I pray that the Women’s March continues to be a symbol of hope, love, acceptance and unwavering determination to bring equality to all those who are underrepresented, disparaged and marginalized. We, as a collective, can do better and I dare you each to do more to love on another. This is my prayer for the world. A-Women.
Originally published at medium.com