Women’s March: Reflections and Actions Moving Forward

Oh Wow! What a week it has been.

First, I attended the Peace Ball last Thursday night at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. with leaders in the #JoinTheResistance movement, including Senator Corey Booker, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now, Poet Laureate Sonia Sanchez, Black Lives Matter founder Alicia Garza, Eve Ensler and more….

Peace Ball: Voices of Hope and Resistance at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. Top left: Kimberly D’Urso, Kaitlin Rattigan, Elisa Parker, Tabby Biddle. Top right: Alicia Garz. Middle: Esperanza Spalding. Bottom: Melissa Harris-Perry

In a not so ironic way, on our way to the Peace Ball we had a run in with the black-masked anarchists who were smashing windows and acting in violence around D.C. This was a real shake up. It showed us, however, the importance of being vigilant and what can happen in moments of chaos. Fortunately, we were all safe and removed ourselves from the area a.s.a.p.

The following day, I visited the Woman’s National Democratic Club in Dupont Circle, which was founded in 1922, two years after the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, when suffragettes succeeded in ensuring women’s right to vote. The club provided a social setting for political dialogue and organizing among the suffragettes. A decade later, when Eleanor Roosevelt became First Lady, the Club became her forum for her social reform agenda.

The day before the Women's March, we spent the day at the Woman's National Democratic Club in Washington, D.C., founded in 1922 by the suffragettes.
The day before the Women’s March, we spent the day at the Woman’s National Democratic Club in Washington, D.C., founded in 1922 by the suffragettes.

Today, WNDC serves as a forum for Democratic, Independent and Progressive leaders, as well as a meeting house to engage women and men in public affairs.

Later in the evening at the Woman’s National Democratic Club, I somehow ended up on stage singing with the daughter of “Peter” from Peter, Paul and Mary (Bethany Yarrow) and a matriarch from the Lakota Nation. Turns out that Bethany is a gorgeous channel for the Goddess. She sang an incantation to Yemanja, the African-Brazilian Goddess of Water, calling in the Goddess and honoring the Water of Life. Bethany has been in integral voice in the peaceful #StandingRock protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline to protect the watershed for millions of people and to fight for a livable climate, human rights, native sovereignty, peace and justice.

Right there in that moment I realized that the Goddess is entering politics not only through more women speaking out for their rights and their values, more women running for political office, and more women stepping into political leadership, but also through music, song and dance. Tadaa! This should have been obvious to me, but somehow I needed a big bump on the head to see this.

singing-at-dem-club-women-rise-upTo add to this wake-up call, later in the evening we experienced an incredible group of women drummers from a cross-section of ethnic backgrounds — all drumming together at the Woman’s National Democratic Club — waking us up, getting us into our bodies, and call up the ancestors. Tadaa again!

And this was all the day before the Women’s March on Washington.

Then move forward to the day of the March. Well, you all know about that, right?!

Over 5 million people from around the world peacefully marched for their civil rights, human rights and the protection of our Earth. There were Sister Marches in 633 cities around the world. Peaceful demonstrations. Does this not show what we are capable of when we organize for good?

I was so moved by the number of men and children who marched along with their mothers, girlfriends, sisters, grandmothers. It was clear that women’s rights are not separate from any other issue that concerns our country, such as the economy, criminal justice, immigration, climate change, education, healthcare, national security. As my newly elected Senator from California, Kamala Harris, said on stage at the March: “We are tired, as women, of being relegated to simply being thought of as a particular constituency or demographic.”

“We are a force that cannot be dismissed or written off to the sidelines.” 

kamala-harris-attends-the-womens-march-on-washington-on-january-21-picture-id632375930
Senator Kamala Harris of California speaks at the Women’s March on Washington.

What a sight to see all of those Democratic women lawmakers standing on stage with Kamala Harris at the March in D.C. I was encouraged to see these women take a stand, and to hear the President of Emily’s List sound the call for women to preserve and advance our rights:

“You should be the ones writing the laws. You should be the ones writing the policies. At Emily’s List we will stand with you. So, here’s the thing my friends: We’ve got two choices. We either run for office. Or we support a Sister who is running for office. That’s what we’re going to do.”

Any takers??? Have you considered running for office?

I certainly have, and am considering the best path there for me. I believe we all have a role to play in this evolution of our politics. How will you bring the feminine into politics?

womens-march-collageMy bet is that some of you will run for office. Some of you will lobby Congress. Some of you will lead political organizations. Some of you will call your members of Congress (maybe on a daily basis) to speak out on where you stand on an issue and encourage them to stand with you. Some of you will encourage your daughters to run for office, or pursue a political path. Some of you will use your artistry to activate political discourse and express your political opinion. There are many ways to bring more of the feminine into politics.

What will you do? I invite you to share your ideas in the comments section below.

Naming and claiming something on a public forum can be a powerful activator. 

I’d love to hear from you. Maybe through our feminine co-creative energies we come up with something that’s never existed before! Please share your ideas in the comments below.

As Senator Kamala Harris said toward the end of her time on stage:

“This was a day for all of us to come together in our nation’s capitol to be seen, to be heard, to be felt. Today is also a day where we must recommit our power, our purpose. Let’s make today a beginning. Let’s buckle in because it’s going to be a bumpy ride and then let’s go back to Ohio, and New York and Florida and California, and let’s get to work!”

And so it is …

I’ve included below a section for ACTION STEPS MOVING FORWARD (keep scrolling down). My purpose is to assist you in taking action. I have heard from some of you that you want to take action, but you are not sure what to do now that the march is over. I have included some great options below. Please listen to whatever your particular calling is for action. I believe we each have a role to play.

My Take The Lead Colleagues, Elisa Parker (L) and Kaitlin Rattigan (R), and I met with the Women's March on Washington National Co-Chairs at the Peace Ball. From (l) to (r): Bob Bland, Carmen Perez, and Linda Sarsour. Missing from the photo is Tamika Mallory.
My Take The Lead Colleagues, Elisa Parker (L) and Kaitlin Rattigan (R), and I met with the Women’s March on Washington National Co-Chairs at the Peace Ball. From (l) to (r): Bob Bland, Carmen Perez, and Linda Sarsour. Missing from the photo is Tamika Mallory.

Here’s a guide to taking action and harnessing your energy to organize for your rights and the strength of our democracy: 

1. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121. Call this number to be connected to your Senators’ offices (all you have to do is say your state or plug in your zip code), and encourage them to vote AGAINST Trump’s cabinet nominations for Attorney General (Jeff Sessions), Secretary of State (Rex Tillerson), Secretary of Health and Human Services (Tom Price), and Secretary of Education (Betsy DeVos). If you aren’t familiar with any of them, Google them or read any New York Times article, and you’ll understand why you’ll want to call. Phone calls to your Senators’ offices matter a lot!!!

2. WomensMarch.com. 10 Actions in 100 Days. The Women’s March has initiated 10 Actions for you to take over the first 100 days of this new administration. Follow these step-by-step and you will be enacting your political voice and using your political power to preserve and strengthen our democracy. Go here.

3. Visit MichaelMoore.com: Daily Action. You all know Michael Moore, right? He announced at the Women’s March that he is posting daily actions on his website (under the Facebook door on his Home Page) for us to take to preserve our rights and democracy. Click here.
4. Download the Indivisible Guide. In this simple-to-use guide, former congressional staffers reveal best practices for making Congress listen. Thousands of citizens around the country are using this guide to take action. Download here.
5. Visit VoteRunLead.org. The founder and executive director, Erin Vivaldi, spoke at our post-march action party in D.C. She is a dynamo. This organization supports and trains women into positions of political leadership. Thinking of running for office? Start here.
Other ideas? Share in the comments below.
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Tabby Biddle, M.S. Ed., is a women’s leadership coach living in Los Angeles, who specializes in helping women find and cultivate their political voice. Additionally, she is a Leadership Ambassador with Take The Lead, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting women to take their fair and equal share of leadership by 2025. Learn more at tabbybiddle.com
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