The night before the 2018 Women’s March, I sat on the floor or my bedroom with neon pink posters and a black sharpie, Googling inspiring feminist quotes and scrolling through my favorite photos from last year.
As I filled in the letters of my favorite Audre Lorde quote, I visualized myself this time last year. I was working remotely in Portland, and I was intimidated by the violence of recent protests following the inauguration. I was angry. I was heartbroken. I desperately needed a way to feel powerful and not alone in the face of so much I couldn’t control.
So I showed up in the rain, crammed between so many young women, moms pushing strollers and old couples sharing umbrellas that we couldn’t move for at least an hour. Once we started marching, thousands of us carried signs and sang songs showing our commitment to unity, peace and positive change – no matter who is in office. It felt like hope. And we all needed that.
Last year’s Women’s March was my first protest, and I didn’t even have time to make a sign. Now, I have a whole rainbow of protest sign sharpies to choose from, in the same box as I keep my leftover candles from the Charlottesville vigil.
One year later, I can see how my resistance continued beyond my wet and tired feet last January. Working at Mixte, I’ve had the privilege of supporting some of San Diego’s most inspiring activists – and I feel so lucky that my professional life aligns with the values I believe in.
This time around, it was a powerful experience to bike and march in my own city, alongside coworkers who have been part of milestones like:
- Protecting immigrant families with San Diego’s Rapid Response Network
- Tackling our homelessness crisis with Turning the Key
- Advocating for equality by marching in the Pride Parade
- Resisting racism with the Faith Not Fear summit
Maybe some of the raw emotion of last year has subsided, but now we’re in the thick of day-to-day work to turn our poster slogans into meaningful action. This is the part where we choose faith not fear every time our neighbors’ rights are threatened. The part where we admit how much we don’t know. The part where we acknowledge our privilege and choose to listen.
At Mixte, our work to promote human rights extends beyond office hours (evidenced by running into my lovely coworker Katy on the bike path to the Women’s March). I know that we stand by our public relations strategies and tactics – because our clients’ stories are full of hope and commitment to make our community a better place. And that news deserves to be shared far and wide.