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    Women’s March Has Evolved to Become a Movement, Not a Moment

    By Morgan Shidler–

    When the Women’s March was announced just days after the election in 2016, I think the prospect of organizing to get out to D.C. for it saved me. I put up a Google form on Facebook to see who would be interested, and within hours there were 40 of us—some were friends, some were strangers. But we all navigated through tough conversations to support an emerging movement.

    We fundraised, donated to The Women’s Building, and in the end, thirty of us trekked from the Bay Area to D.C. for a weekend that we will never forget. We weren’t prepared for the juxtaposition of the presidential inauguration being back to back to the march, and how palpable the changing paradigm felt in real time.  

    The following year, I was excited to stay local in Oakland and San Francisco, and was ecstatic that the national organizers held their main event the following day so I could fly out to support it. I hit both of the central Bay Area marches early last year, and then hopped a plane that night to Vegas, only for my first stop in my Lyft line to be the Trump Hotel. What are the chances!? 

    At the march, I couldn’t believe that the crowds were comparable, and in some cases larger in number, than the year before. It solidified my commitment to this movement at all costs. I had been impressed with the national leadership over the course of 2017, and could see evidence in every direction that their efforts to create a truly intersectional movement were working.  

    This year’s march was also during my sister’s birthday and I was going to be in Colorado. I therefore thought that it would be a great opportunity to see how Denver would march. In preparation, I immediately noticed that the Denver chapter changed their name to Womxn’s March Denver, explicitly including all women-identifying folks. Colorado just recently turned blue this year, electing its first openly transwoman to the state legislature, and hosting a stage full of politicians that covered the full range of diversity of the beauty that is our country. Under clear blue skies and with an estimated crowd of 30,000, I couldn’t help but wonder if such diversity would have been attainable had this march never happened. 

    It was impossible for me not to get emotional and to feel hopeful, despite so much still to worry about politically. For now, I am so grateful to the national and local organizers who have worked so hard to make this impactful effort a movement, and not a moment.

    Photographer Morgan Shidler is based in Oakland. For more information: https://www.morganshidler.com/