CNYers Who Went to Washington for Women's March Say Change is Ahead if People Remain Involved

Jan 23, 2017

Poster taken to the Women's March in Washington by Syracuse artist Amy Bartell
Credit Amy Bartell

Central New Yorker’s who participated in Women’s March events over the weekend reflect on how the large protests might lead to change. Syracuse University Trans-media Adjunct Professor Nancy Keefe Rhodes walked eight miles in Washington, D.C. with a group of 28.  They experienced welcoming neighborhoods where residents and city police thanked participants for coming.  Rhodes now wonders what the future holds.

“The important thing is now: what’s next and what do we decide to do after this and how we take care of ourselves, how we take care of each other, how do we conduct ourselves in responsible ways.”  

Nancy Keefe Rhodes with one of the many signs people carried during the march
Credit Nancy Keefe Rhodes

She witnessed participants focused on issues such as healthcare and social security.

Another participant, SU Political Science and History Professor Margaret Susan Thompson, noted the historical significance of the women’s march to past protests.

“It compares to the marches against the Vietnam War, the great March on Washington in 1963, the remarkable turnout for the Barack Obama inauguration.  But what impressed me that was different from these events was the number of marches, the number of gatherings, not only all around the country, but all around the world.” 

Thompson believes the nearly 3 million women and men that came out to march nationwide will impact the future.

“If even 10% of those actually become actively involved, in talking with their representative and lobbying for policies that they think are important, we’re going to see some remarkable change.”

Thompson suggests that reaching out to representatives will be a more effective method of activism than attempting to reach the president with their message.