ONE YEAR AGO: Women’s March: Washington D.C., January 21, 2017!

Why did I march?
“Because my faith informs my actions.
Because women are key in standing for “justice for all” in the U.S. and around the world.
Because diversity in humanity is something to be celebrated, not legislated against.”

Women's March D.C., Jan. 21, 2017

Women’s March D.C., Jan. 21, 2017

Women took to the streets around the world on January 21, 2017 to let their voices be heard! They were joined by their male partners, family and friends. Many children participated and the press reported not a single arrest incident. I dropped my phone on the ground, and it would have been lost to me (and all my photos!) were it not for the kindness of a stranger returning it to me. The atmosphere from the beginning of my journey flying, metro-ing, and taxiing into D.C. until my departure through customs at Dulles airport was festive, hopeful, and determined. The spirit of shared strength, courage, and community was palatable.

Women's March D.C., Jan. 21, 2017

Women’s March D.C., Jan. 21, 2017

Participating in the Women’s March in Washington D.C. was a thrilling moment for me, only my second march ever, and first time to America’s capital city. To be a part of history being made, to be a part of ENORMOUS gatherings of women of all shapes/sizes/colors/beliefs/practices, to feel the strength of “We the People” – I will NEVER forget!

Women's March D.C., Jan. 21, 2017

Women’s March D.C., Jan. 21, 2017

For me, Imago Dei is central to my faith – ALL are made in the image of God – ALL are to be treasured as a part of God’s reflection – which leads me to the American refrain, “and Justice for ALL“. Yes, I’m an American, and yes, I treasure the First Amendment, which guarantees the Freedom of Speech and the right of the people to peaceably assemble. Take a look:

U.S. Bill of Rights, Amendment I

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Women's March D.C., Jan. 21, 2017

Women’s March D.C., Jan. 21, 2017

These awesome and creative signs above were particularly powerful reminders of women in the past who can be admired today for their courage to stand up against the “social norms” of their times and push for equality and justice.

Women's March D.C., Jan. 21, 2017

Women’s March D.C., Jan. 21, 2017

The photo above is one of my favorites because the Muslim faith in particular has been singled out recently in what amounts to persecution and worse. One marcher had this idea in regard to the sinister and outrageous proposal to create a “registry” in the United States based on one’s faith:

Women's March D.C., Jan. 21, 2017

Women’s March D.C., Jan. 21, 2017

Will I commit to always being on the side of “Lady Liberty”? I hope and pray so!

Women's March D.C., Jan. 21, 2017

Women’s March D.C., Jan. 21, 2017

Some Muslim women showed their participation by staging what I might refer to as a “prayer-in”! It seemed to me that by their actions they were saying, “We’re here!“, “We’re American!“, and, “We are devout!” The biblical scripture that comes to mind is, “Love your neighbor” from Mark 12:31 and the message that Jesus gave in the “Good Samaritan” in Luke 25-37, that ALL humankind is our neighbor!!

Women's March D.C., Jan. 21, 2017

Women’s March D.C., Jan. 21, 2017

Black Lives Matter was another theme that I saw frequently represented. I joined in the chants with others:

It was a serious day because of the shared sense that we HAD to be there, to stand for inclusion and all the previously stated reasons. But there was also a huge sense of joy!

Women's March D.C., Jan. 21, 2017

Women’s March D.C., Jan. 21, 2017

It felt sacred as we laid our signs down and began to leave the city. Our stack of signs were a memorial that represented the voices of the hopes of thousands of women. We saw each other, we heard each other, the world heard us. Although it was one of the first times for me to participate in something like this, I don’t think it will be the last time.
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**This article was originally published on Jan 24, 2017 @ 06:02

Women's March D.C., Jan. 21, 2017

Women’s March D.C., Jan. 21, 2017