Yesterday the Women's March in Chicago was estimated to have over 250,000 participants that gathered and marched through downtown on a rare sunny and warm(ish) January day. They marched for reasons as varied as those in attendance. I captured the event because awareness of this political climate is important. Everyone there has a story to share, people are not monolithic and their voices are important to our democracy. There are many voices not present at the march and theirs matter too. And my hope as Americans is that we come together and listen to one another and move forward together.
For me joining this march was about seeing for MYSELF what it was all about. It was about standing with people who feel left out by much of the current political climate. Who knows what the history books will say about this time in history when the dust settles but I want to help tell that story through capturing images of what the American experiment looks like right now. I want to stand for issues that matter to me like the way we dismiss sexual violence against women, immigration reform, DACA recipients being able to have a legal and reasonable way to stay in the country they know as home, refugee resettlement that treats those fleeing their homelands with dignity and respect (to name a few). I volunteer and work alongside people who have been demonized and marginalized and I can choose to use my voice of privilege to say that is NOT ok, to say that their presence in my life and in our country make us all better. I can affirm their humanity as dearly loved by God by standing aside and allowing their stories to be shared. The real test is what happens next- will we show up at the polls? Will we welcome our neighbors in ways that may cost us personally no matter what their faith or where they come from? Will we volunteer as ESL tutors to those on paths to citizenship? Will we insist that until we are all free to be ourselves none of us are really free? Will we suspend judgement and offer to be a part of solutions to complex problems we don't fully understand? Will we show up?...... not only to march but to stand with and for those whose very humanity is being questioned?
You could see the intersection of many issues and stories converging through the streets of Chicago yesterday and my hope was to capture some of that through images.