2017: year in review

By Mary M. DeShaw 0389.jpg

For most of us, 2017 has been an extremely difficult year. From Charlottesville to Las Vegas, from Puerto Rico to the White House, we have seen what many had thought to be unimaginable come to life. It’s critical that we take time for those most affected, for our communities, and for ourselves to grieve and heal as we prepare to bring our #PowerToThePolls in 2018. Whatever your process looks like, let’s all take a moment to reflect on what the women’s movement has accomplished in the last 12 months.

Over the past year, we have made our voices heard.

In January, millions of women and their allies took to the streets in over 80 countries and on every continent for the Women’s March. In Oakland alone, over 100,000 people came out in support of women’s rights and voices.

In February, we flooded Washington with postcards and phone calls demanding that our voices be represented by elected officials.

In March, we celebrated International Women’s Day with A Day Without a Woman. Those who could took off from work, and others refrained from shopping except at small women- and minority-owned businesses.

In April, we identified upcoming elections in our districts and made sure we were registered to vote.

In May, we remembered how critical immigrants are to our country as small business owners closed and employees abstained from working on A Day Without Immigrants.

In June, we stood in solidarity at annual pride events throughout the country.

In July, Women’s March Oakland amplified the voices of local organizations doing mighty work by launching The Megaphone.

In August, we worked with a multiracial coalition to organize a 118-mile march to show our commitment to confronting white supremacy in the aftermath of Charlottesville.

In September, we stood with Dreamers as their lives were threatened by the current administration.

In October, we shouted and whispered #MeToo to demonstrate that sexual assault does not discriminate. And we gathered in Detroit at the first Women’s Convention in 40 years to show that the future truly is feminine.

In November, women ran for office and won historic victories around the country. Here in the Bay Area, a high school’s black student union raised money for victims of the wine country fires in response to a call to action from Women’s March Oakland.

And, as 2017 came to a close in December, Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year was announced. It was only fitting that “feminism” would have another groundswell in a year when so many women joined together in solidarity. People were curious, vindicated and renewed in their feminism, and they challenged themselves and others to find an intersectionality that spoke to and for all.

In this annual time of reflection and mindfulness, let us come together as women and allies to say: we are still here, and we will always be here. Join us on the streets again on January 20, 2018, to remind everyone watching that we matter.

In solidarity,
Alison Mata & Ivy Quiroz

Alison Mata