On Saturday, January 21, 2017, about a million people of all ages, gender expressions, sexual orientations, nationalities, abilities, races and religions united at the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., following the presidential inauguration. College of Social Work faculty, staff, friends, alumni and students were among the protesters and many also participated around the country and in their hometowns.
College of Social Work BSSW students (l to r) Alyssa Wischmann, Ellen Williams and Caroline Filbrun traveled to Washington to stand up for women’s rights. They became a part of history in the process.
“I attended the march not only to advocate for my own rights, but for the rights of all women,” said Filbrun. “I wrote Audre Lorde’s quote ‘I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own’ on my poster because I feel that it captures the essence of my beliefs as a woman and as a social work student.”
Surrounded by hundreds of thousands of empathetic, compassionate and like-minded women, Filbrun said she marched toward a future in which sex/gender is neither an impediment nor an advantage.
Social Work’s Dean Tom Gregoire comments on the meaningfulness of the march and appreciation for those who participated in it:
This weekend, many CSW faculty, staff, friends and alumni participated in the Women’s March on Washington in D.C., as well as in their own hometowns. Thank you for your advocacy, your courage and your passion in reinforcing to our country the vast commitment to an equitable and kind society that actually does exist among so many Americans.
The events of the last few months have shocked many, but have also served to wake up our country to both continuing and newly emerging threats to people living in poverty, women, people of color, the LGBTQ community, persons from different countries and religions and our entire planet. Your presence invited to the national conversation many good people who have never before reflected upon the plight of the vulnerable.
We are all our best selves when we are in service of others. It is a very generous thing you do when you speak up for others. There are many out there who don’t know you, or what you are doing this weekend. But they will live better, eventually, because of you.
Watch this video from the Women’s March!