Dozens of students, faculty and staff members will join a bus ride to the Women’s March on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 21, the day after the presidential inauguration.
This opportunity for activism on a national level is “historical and monumental,” according to Women’s Union co-presidents Angelica DeDona ’19 and Gillian Singer ’19.
The student action group, which highlights issues of importance to women, has been fundraising to subsidize the cost of the bus. With donations growing daily through GoFundMe, the group is on target to meet its $5,000 goal.
“This is an opportunity that will be in future generations’ textbooks, and it is very important for Union students’ voices to be heard at this point in time in America,” said Singer, a double major in Spanish and Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies.
“It means the world to me to be able to be with people who are so powerful in this movement for female empowerment,” said DeDona, a double major in political science and English.
Andrea Foroughi, associate professor of history and director of GSWS, worked with Women’s Union to charter the bus, which is expected to fill all 56 seats. Support for the trip has come from numerous campus groups, including Student Activities, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Office of Diversity, as well as an IEG grant.
Foroughi said the decision to join the estimated 200,000 to 300,000 marchers “was very much sparked by an outrage against Trump, but it also connects the students to feminist history.”
DeDona and Singer noted that this is an opportunity to follow in the footsteps of female activists like Alice Paul, who organized the first suffragist parade in Washington, D.C., 100 years ago. Held the day before Woodrow Wilson's inauguration in 1913, that march was instrumental in advancing American women’s right to vote.
Dalila Haden ’19 is also thrilled at the prospect of being a part of history. “This event is going to be a huge success,” said Haden, who, along with Singer, DeDona and Christie Dionisos ’19, is a member of the Women’s Union Executive Board. “I’m also excited at the prospect of seeing such feminist icons as America Ferrera.”
Karen Radley, assistant manager of the Bookstore, felt “a calling” to go, make her voice heard and represent others who can’t participate.
“These are unprecedented times in terms of the divisiveness of our country and the charged political climate,” Radley said. “I’m concerned for people’s rights, and it’s not enough to sit on the sidelines anymore.”