Mindr mama Krista Chambers shares a letter to her daughter Tegan after they marched together last Saturday in New York.
On Saturday, January 21, 2017, we marched together as a family in New York City.
We were in good company: millions of people around the world also participated in Women's Marches for what they felt was right in the face of the incoming administration and its potential to harm the environment, women, immigrants, Muslims, people of color, Indigenous people and people in the LGBTQ community. A president and administration that have told us that they create the facts.
We weren’t sure what we were going to find when we got to the march with you, but we had faith that it would be peaceful. We decided that our need to include you in the experience of standing up was bigger than any risks we feared.
I am so, so glad that we included you. Watching you smile in the sunshine and make friends with the marchers around us, people of all ages, races, orientations and religions, was nothing short of a miracle. You smiled, laughed, bounced and even nursed in your carrier, surrounded by love and friendly faces as we slowly made our way along. We were all uplifted and moved by what we experienced - even you!
But now that the march has ended and reality has settled in further, I am struggling to understand what is next, not just for those of us who marched and are afraid and angry, but for all of us. I can’t predict the future, but I can promise you this:
- Even if we don’t yet know what the impact of this march will be, what we did was important.
- We can only speak for our own experiences and will work to understand our place of privilege in this story. Before this weekend, many who marched have long been fighting for equality and recognition, and without their tireless efforts we would not have had success. We will educate ourselves on intersectionality and the efforts of all of those who marched with us and what they have fought for before this march.
- Your body is your own, and the choices you make with it are your own. I will fight for you to have reproductive education and rights free from judgement and violence, and I will give you the tools to stand in your identity and make choices that are right for you and your life. I will fight for you to receive equal pay for equal work, and will work for a world that lets you walk freely in it, feeling safe and secure and respected.
- We will teach you as best we can, and set you up to soar as best we can, but ultimately you will do the work to live up to your full potential. Similarly, with the Women’s March, we showed up, we were moved and inspired, but now the hard work starts. I am dedicated to finding a path and doing that work with the hope that it means a better world for you. I'm exploring civic leadership, activism and advocacy, and every time I look at you, it recharges my efforts to find that path and walk it.
- We will always encourage you to be curious about the world, to be kind to yourself and others and to be authentic to who you are and what you want to achieve.
I am so proud that you were a part of this moment in history, little girl. Oh, how you have changed my life for the better. And although I am very afraid for the state of the country and world right now, based on the other incredible women, men and children we saw march with you across the globe, my hope far outweighs my fear.
Now we roll up our sleeves.
I love you,