Reflecting on a Day of Community

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Today was a powerful day in Seattle, and I wasn’t quite expecting just how moving it would be to hear the stories of women in the community who have connected with women everywhere to make the WWR conference a reality for five years in a row now.

Although the chairs in the above photo are empty, they were soon to be filled by Star, Jackie, Sharon, Denae, Lola, and Harmony, six local heroines who kicked off the day’s events with a lively panel discussing everything from hip hop to the horrors of human trafficking. Things got real really fast, and it was clear that the issues raised weighed heavily on the hearts of everyone in the room.

The collective yearning for change was palpable as people shifted in their seats, listening intently to the women’s accounts of hope and sorrow. Although each woman seemed to have her own special cause for promoting social justice–from the Black Lives Matter movement to the struggle of indigenous people who still fight to survive on this continent–it was clear that we are all united by a longing for peace and joy in the world, and that common goal surely echoed throughout the day’s events.

– Molly Warinsky, Group 16

 

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Marching for Justice

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While it may have felt early for some of us, the turnout for the morning march was certainly bright: the blue sky welcomed us–a crowd of perhaps 50 or so men and women representing all ages and parts of the community–as we gathered around a pickup truck blaring pump-up jams at 39th and Rainier Avenue in Columbia City. Waiting for our cue to begin walking, we rehearsed chants led by women from Gabriela, a local Filipina collective working toward gender justice, who helped put on the Women Who Rock (un)conference today.

And then it was time: the half-mile stretch felt surprisingly short as we pranced powerfully down Rainier Avenue toward the cultural center, waving signs and shouting and singing as loudly as we could. It was a very powerful feeling to make my voice heard, but also to band together with others in such a concrete manner. People noticed us today, and regardless of whether or not they listened to our message of equality and justice for all, they certainly heard us.

– Molly Warinsky, Group 16