Keep Marching Forward
By Janeen Halliwell
March: to walk and proceed together with determination, forward. And women did. On January 21, 2017, the Women’s March on Washington drew 100s of thousands of people to the streets of Washington, and millions more to sister marches in cities and towns worldwide. Those who could not make it to the streets took part in other ways – like a group of California cancer patients who walked the corridors of the treatment centre, signs affixed to their IV poles asserting “Freedom for All!” The marches, from large to small, were described as “positive,” “inclusive,” and “electric.” In the spirit of unity and the shared, grave concern that the Trump presidency will negatively impact the world, a universal bond is forming which was aptly captured on a rally sign reading, “We are allies, not bystanders.”
My decision to dedicate this We Move Forward blog to the Women’s March on Washington is my way of being a good ally. It was not an easy decision because when I created We Move Forward I made it clear that the conference is apolitical; for those of you who know me well you understand that this has required restraint. While it would have been easier to host a conference for like-minded women, We Move Forward has instead focused on bringing together good-spirited ones, generating waves of positive change for women of all wages and stages of life. The result is a crazy blend of diverse women coming together to explore issues that affect us all and celebrate the achievements of women who are not looking for the spotlight but who are deserving of it. A very special sisterhood has formed between women who likely would have never met because they travel in very different circles. What brings them to We Move Forward is what they all have in common – their womenhood – and not things that could otherwise divide them like religion, economic status or political affiliation. Everyone arrives curious and open, engages in respectful discussions and are soon sharing their experiences, thoughts and feelings. Unexpected, meaningful friendships are formed and new thinking takes shape.
What have I learned in five years of We Move Forward? People with different backgrounds aren’t so different after-all and we have a lot to learn from one another. That begins with starting our conversations from a place of respect, love and compassion.
It’s in that spirit that I invite you to view this powerful video about the Women’s March on Washington created by Cole Sax. As demonstrated by those who marched, change begins in our minds and in our hearts, but it only happens when we take action. And as Sierra says “…we will never stop moving forward.”
Dear friends of We Move Forward, start the conversations. With your friends and neighbors but especially with strangers who may not share your beliefs. Remember to listen. We are all women and we are stronger when we move, and keep moving, forward together.
Blog written by: Janeen Halliwell, Founder, We Move Forward
*We Move Forward is a 3 day International Women’s Day conference held bi-annually on Isla Mujeres, the Island of Women, Mexico. We hope that you will join us in March 8, 9 & 10, 2018. Mark your calendars. Gather your friends. Registration begins in the spring of 2017.