This week is an important one for our nation. It is the week we take time to honor Civil Rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; it is the week a new administration will take the reins of the nation; and in a new movement, it is the week when hundreds of thousands of women, and men, across the nation and the world will gather in solidarity to march for women’s rights and human rights.
The parent march that is scheduled for Saturday in Washington, D.C., is not one meant to protest the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, although some participants may try to use it as such. The movement and beliefs behind the Women’s March on Washington are that of promoting and encouraging the continued forward movement of women’s rights, and in turn, human rights.
There are women, and men, traveling from around the nation to participate in the parent march in Washington, D.C., including myself and three of my friends who will be traveling on our own. In addition to coordinated busloads of people flocking to D.C. Saturday from all across the country, those who are not able to travel to D.C. will take part in sister walks and gatherings in other cities, including Greensboro, Raleigh, Asheville, Black Mountain, Charlotte, Morganton, Wilmington and Winston-Salem.
For the first time in my lifetime, I feel truly moved to be part of something greater, something that I feel is very important for my generation and future generations. For me, the march is about equal rights and equal treatment for all people.
The Women’s March on Washington organizers have created a five-page document outlining the movement’s vision and principles, noting that it is a gathering of “people of all genders, ages, races, cultures, political affiliations and backgrounds” who are coming together with a “vision for a government that is based on the principles of liberty and justice for all.”
The values and principles surrounding the march bring to the forefront issues of human rights, domestic abuse, reproductive freedom, racial profiling, gender and racial inequalities, discrimination in the work place, environmental protection, and more.
I was blessed growing up to be surrounded by people who were tolerant of those with varying beliefs, be that religious or political. I was taught to treat everyone fairly, and equally, no matter their station in life, their race, their gender, or their beliefs.
There would be more understanding and peace in the world, if everyone were not so judgemental of others who might look or believe differently than they do. Diversity is a great thing, and I think many reasons why some people are limited in their acceptance of others is because they’ve lived in an area that isn’t diverse enough.
My quote for this week, in honor of King, is “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” This is why I will be traveling to D.C. this weekend, and marching with my brothers and sisters for equality in the Women’s March on Washington movement.
Wendy Byerly Wood is editor of The Tribune and The Yadkin Ripple. She can be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.