A March on D.C. in Support of Pluralism

Even though I was not able to attend the Women’s March in D.C., I’ve been able to live vicariously through the experiences of several classmates, like my friend Molly McGrath. Molly is a 2L at Boston College Law School and originally from western New York. At BC, she is involved in LAMBDA and the Environmental Affairs Law Review. Although she doesn’t know exactly where her legal career will take her, she is grateful to attend an institution like BC Law and use its resources to navigate a rapidly changing legal and political climate.

A classmate and I sat in a law library study room several days after the election. We’d originally reserved the room to cram for our Admin Law final, but  found ourselves brainstorming ways to act with more intention and become more politically involved. My friend agreed to stop buying clothes online from retailers with supply chains reaching deep into the third world. I decided to schedule more time to read about the origins of the social justice movement. We both agreed to attend the Women’s March on Washington.

Several classmates and I crammed into a Honda Civic early Friday morning. We debated whether or not to tune into the inauguration itself. We stopped at a small gas station in Connecticut. The line to the bathroom was unusually long. Every single person was headed to the March in DC. At that point, I began to understand that this event might truly turn heads.  I remembered those ladies as we drove across the George Washington Bridge and listened to our new president swear his oath of office.

The DC metro was spooky. Beaming young men in Make America Great Again hats chatted as they returned from what I can only imagine was an exciting and hopeful day for them. They stared at my classmate holding a massive sign. A middle-aged woman asked, “How was it out there today? Power to the people.” She didn’t look like a person who throws that phrase around very often.

On Saturday morning, everyone seemed headed in the same direction. The three mile walk down to the National Mall went by quickly, as I was surrounded by clever signs. In a crowd that extended 14 blocks, I stood beside a jumbotron with thousands of people listening respectfully to speakers who worked as advocates for the most marginalized in our society. Tears swelled in my eyes when an 8-year-old immigration rights activist stood on stage and bravely proclaimed, “Si, se puede.”

When we started to march, I heard a woman turn toward her friend and say, “I’ve never felt more comfortable wearing my hijab. And I’m around so many people. It’s amazing.”  In that moment, I felt a tremendous sense of solidarity with my countrymen who believe that pluralism and diversity are American ideals worth fighting for.

Check out Molly and other BC Law students’ photos from the Women’s March on Washington below:

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