Nearly 25 years ago, I joined my first march. It was the March for Women’s Lives in April of 1992 in Washington, D.C. I was in the good company of a busload of friends from my high school (Nightingale Bamford) and four busloads of congregants from my congregation (All Souls, NYC). Later that summer, I was part of the 12,000 volunteers who were trained and deployed to defend abortion clinics during the Democratic National Convention in NYC.
I remember throughout that year feeling I was passing through a generational rite as I found myself inside of numerous organizing rooms listening to and learning from elders share the stories of their decades of strategizing and supporting one another to achieve equal rights.
Tonight, as I ready myself to head to D.C. I hold in my heart the elders who initiated me into the movement for women’s rights and the power of non-violent resistance. I also hold in my heart all those who have helped women’s liberation to progress in many important ways since then, including a much clearer understanding and commitment to intersectionality that connects the experiences of race, immigration status, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ability.
Tonight, I sit with an awareness that the work of liberation is not only the work of the next four years, but rather it is the project of lifetimes. As we move down the road together towards justice, whether our pilgrimage is to D.C. or closer by in states all around the country, may we return home with a renewed sense of our interconnectedness and our collective power. And, may the spiritual practices and the partnerships that nourish our lives be strengthened.