I am writing about two women I met recently who opened my eyes to activism: National Co-Chair and the Director of Community Engagement of the Women’s March: Bob Bland and Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs. When I first saw these women at the International Congress of Youth Voices in San Francisco this summer, I thought they were attending the conference as mentors who had accompanied students. I didn’t think much from seeing them; yes, I did judge them a little bit, but in a good way, lol.
On the second day of the conference, I read two names on the schedule, and from these names, one of which was Bob, I didn’t know that the guest speakers were female. I sat in the second row of the auditorium, and on the stage before me were two beautiful women who were there to teach me how to strive for justice for every human race.
The Women’s March started in 2017, when a group of women gathered to protest against unfair policies regarding human rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, immigration reform, healthcare reform, and many other issues. Bob and Tabitha shared their experiences of that time, and then spoke about the power women have when we stand up and fight for what is right. I realized in that moment that the possibilities of change are present.
It is hard to use the skills we have as women or men, especially in today’s world where we see the ugly side of racial issues spreading into human veins like a virus. As I sat there listening to Bob Bland and Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs, however, I began to understand that it doesn’t matter how old you are or what times we are living in: we have to advocate for unheard voices and unwelcome faces by any means. We all were created equally, and with any means we can find we should respect each other and help each other as one race, the human race.
Bob Bland and Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs explained that it can be scary and hard to start a movement or an activity, but it is always worth it at the end. Becoming an activist can be through writing poetry, blogging, or signs you hold at public events—wherever your voice can be read and heard and felt. Sometimes you might face being arrested or being denied access to enter certain places, however, this doesn’t mean you should leave where you are; instead find a place to thrive in, a place to make the world know that this is what’s happening, and it needs to end or to be fixed so that positive change can come.
Today I call myself an activist because I believe that as long as I am still alive my voice, my vote, and my life matter. Everyone deserves a chance to live freely without fear of tomorrow.
Will you be an activist and add your voice to the world you are seeing today?