Resist

You’ve Heard the Phrase “A Day Without.” But What Does it Mean?

Author: Mary Grace Donaldson, Current Events/Politics

Since the Inauguration of President Trump, protests — in response to his racist comments, his derogatory remarks about women and his actions against immigrants (just to cite a few examples of his absurd behavior) — have popped up all over.

Protests of this nature, including the Women’s March, are nothing short of inspiring. They are fine examples of raising voices peacefully for a common cause that will further the greater good.

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The latest examples of these protests include the “day without” protest, the first calling for all immigrant workers to go on strike for a day in an attempt to show the world just how essential immigrants to the American workforce. The strike took place on February 16, 2017 — and while many employers were supportive, other cases resulted in the firing of a number of immigrant workers who did not show up for work, some even getting fired via text message.

Another protest of the same principle took place just this past week on March 8: a day without women, which was conceptualized by the organizers of the Women’s March. It also happened to coincide with International Women’s Day, which takes place every year on March 8.

The reach of the “Day Without a Woman” extended so far to the point that parents across the country were scrambling for child care as several female teachers refused to report to work at their respective schools. And as I scrolled through my own social media feeds, I was pleased and proud to see that many friends and acquaintances — while they weren’t necessarily (and understandably) able to take off work — wore red in solidarity with the spirit of the day, and wrote heartfelt posts in support, instead of standard bandwagon posts that come around with every popular cause.

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So, why are these protests significant?

We can only hope that these protests send the right message to President Trump: there is no room for racism or exclusion of any particular social group. And as stated previously, they show the lengths that citizens — millennials and non-millennials alike will go to to spread a message and fight for change. We are the generation of change, and we are proud to be part of such efforts.

 

Disclaimer: The political views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Not Another Millennial Blog. 

NYC Women's March

A Social Worker’s Place is in the Resistance

Author: #NAMB Guest Author, Current Events/Politics

“Miss Carolyn- what are we gonna do? What are the adults gonna do about that Trump? It’s no good, Miss Carolyn.” – Seven-year-old boy. 

As a social worker, I’m lucky to spend my days working to help my kids — children in New York City’s foster care system — have better tomorrows. While my job description consists of varying responsibilities, the most important part of it is that I get to dedicate my time to helping kids heal from their pasts, learn to have hope and feel safe.

But following the election, I found it all the more difficult to do so. I watched the results of each state get called and felt, among many other things, that the social service system I work within — and that my kids live within — was about to be jeopardized, if not collapse entirely.

I went from being shocked to upset to angry pretty quickly. And that anger and confusion is what drove me down to the protest in Union Square the night after the election. The crowds there were made up of loud, aggressive, New Yorkers who couldn’t quite understand how what just happened, happened, so I fit right in.

The theme of last weekend’s March, though, was different. I spent days after the election trying to figure out how I was going to help my kids, most who are in elementary school, understand and process how a hateful, cruel, under-qualified racist was rewarded by winning the highest office in our country. This stood in strong contrast to what I continuously tell them: that it is most important to be kind, that it is okay to be exactly who you are, to respect others’ feelings, and that each of them is important and valued.

My coworkers faced similar struggles, as we were presented with questions that had no clear answers, and a future that remains uncertain. For us — social workers, whose job is to protect others — it was indescribably frustrating to feel so helpless.

But it is imperative that we do not let ourselves get paralyzed by feelings of helplessness, anger, or disappointment. And that is why my coworkers, my friends and thousands of other New Yorkers took to the streets last weekend. It wasn’t just a Women’s March, though. Instead, it felt more like the city coming together for something much bigger than any one particular event or person. It took on a life of its own.

To say Midtown was packed would be a gross understatement. The roads were filled with individuals who showed up because they stood for something. Because they wanted to be heard and seen. Because they believe in their rights and the rights of others and wanted to make that known.

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Some of the signs around me read: “Liberty & Justice for All,” “You Can’t Be Neutral On a Runaway Train,” “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights,” “Love Trumps Hate. Love is Love is Love,” “NOPE” and “Wake Me Up When It’s 2020.”

New Yorkers chanted everything from “Mike Pence sucks too,” to “My Body, My Rights, Her Body, Her Rights” and “He has little hands and little feet, all he does is tweet, tweet, tweet.”

While the crowds and protests immediately following Election Day seemed to be driven by outrage and disbelief, last weekend’s March felt peacefully cathartic, and hopefully anticipatory of a new political force. It was an event that offered inspiration, humor, and proof that New York will never go down quietly. It gave everyone who wanted one an outlet to express how they were feeling about the new President and the state of our society.

The Women’s March in New York City was just one example of people, particularly millennials, becoming less apathetic than perhaps they were before, and more ready to commit to ensuring whatever cause they believe in remains safeguarded in the coming years. I went to the March for a lot of reasons, one of which is because when my kids ask me, “Miss Carolyn, what’re the adults gonna do about it?”

I want to be able to tell them that we will not stand idly by while the most vulnerable among us are being threatened. I want to tell them that when it comes to what you believe in, doing something is better than doing nothing. That you need to stay informed and active in the fight for what is right. And I want to tell them that we will continue to work to help them feel safe, to heal, and to never give up. Seeing the turnout at yesterday’s March confirmed that many share these same sentiments.

And after feeling the positive, encouraging atmosphere, and getting to be a part of a demonstration that stood for social justice and standing together, I can say I will tell them all of the above with the same amount of conviction I had before the election, if not more.

New York City’s social workers will continue to stand firmly with those who feel scared, worried, confused. We are committed to ensuring there continues to be better tomorrows. And I’ll also tell them what they already know — that there really is no city greater than New York.

About the Author: 

carolyn_cropped.pngCarolyn Catania holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology (FCRH ’13) and Master of Social Work degree (GSSS ’16), both from Fordham University. She is a licensed social worker (LMSW) in New York State and has been working within New York City’s child welfare system since 2013. Her previous experience includes having been a research assistance at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and at Columbia’s Depression Evaluation Services Clinic. She is currently a Mental Health Therapist at a foster care agency in the Bronx and pursuing her MPH degree at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai. She is an alumni of the Fostering Change for Children Children’s Corps Program (2015), a member of NASW-NYC Chapter, recipient of the Sanctuary Trauma Informed Practice Award (2015) at her agency, and is a Phi Alpha SW Honor Society (2015) member. Carolyn is excited to be presently undergoing training in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and when not at work, looks forward to cheering on the New York Mets in their upcoming season.

Disclaimer: The political views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Not Another Millennial Blog.

Why Millennials Took Part in the Women’s March

Author: Mary Grace Donaldson, Current Events/Politics

We witnessed history this past weekend. We witnessed the biggest protest in U.S. history. We witnessed the Women’s March — both in Washington, D.C. and all over the globe. In fact there were 673 events across the world that took place, to be exact. To put things into perspective, an estimated 500,000 people took part in Washington, D.C. — and this wasn’t even the biggest march! Approximately 750,000 people made their voices known at the march in Los Angeles. New York City was also quite up there, with about 250,000 people. If you’re interested in more numbers, click here.

We chatted with a few millennials who participated in marches. Instead of us simply recapping it for you, hear what they have to say about their experiences firsthand.


IMG_20170122_083433_236.jpgI took part in the Women’s March on New Orleans to remind our leaders that we exist, and that despite the outcome of the election, there are millions of us who did not vote for Trump. But more importantly, I wanted to lend my voice to something beyond a Trump protest. For me, it was about standing up for our right to use birth control. It was about fighting against the patriarchal system in which domestic violence and rape are still daily threats to our survival. It was about #BlackLivesMatter and fighting to save our planet.

We still have A LOT of work to do, not just as a movement for policy change but within our sisterhood itself. There were not enough women of color in our group, and that is a reflection of us, not them. White women must do more to include diverse women if we are ever going to make effective change.
Amanda Mester, Writer/Editor
New Orleans, LA
Connect with Amanda on Twitter @heyyybonita 


#WhyIMarch. The Women’s March in Boston was one of the most incredible things I have ever been a part of throughout my life. It wasn’t because of the signs, the amount of people, or even the actual March itself, but it was because of the camaraderie and passion that people carried with them. Before the actual March started, people were chatting with one another about a variety of things, but it always seemed to come down to one common theme: keep the momentum going. People around us talked about how inspiring it was to see so many young people at the march. One man told me, “You all are the next generation. At our community meetings in our town, it’s all older people, but now I know we are in good hands. We must keep this going.”

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However, it was one woman during the march in particular who shook me to my core. Towards the end of the march, I passed a woman in her 60s who was standing on the sidewalk, clapping. It seemed as though something must have come over her, because she started to shout words of encouragement to the group with such vigor: “DO NOT BACK DOWN. KEEP FIGHTING. THIS IS NOT WHERE WE STOP. WE ARE WOMEN, WE. DO. NOT. BACK. DOWN.” We locked eyes and I will never forget that feeling. Her tone and shaking in her voice struck me. I felt her urgency and her power. I felt a connection to someone I had never met before, but understood so deeply.

Over the past year, I’ve come to realize that being a women is one of the most empowering things about me. How can I not continue to stand up for my rights and the rights of so many others? How can I not let my voice be heard? If my experience marching has taught me anything, it’s that we are here, we are stronger than ever, and we will not back down. I vow to keep that woman’s words with me and to continue to keep the momentum going. Will you join me?

– Nicole Chinnis, Study Abroad Advisor
Boston, MA
Connect with Nicole on Twitter and Instagram @nec146 


Nicole womens march.jpgMy personal motivation to do the Women’s March on Washington goes back to my minor in college being Women and Gender Studies. I devoted most of my college career learning about feminism and peaceful protests, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to be a part of the history I’ve always learned about!

I became very emotional upon entering the march, and noticing the “older” generation of people who I had read about, coming out again to fight for issues they still cared about. What was most inspiring to me was to see how many young people there were there. More young people are being involved in politics now more than ever, because I believe that issues that actually affect them are coming to the surface. As a millennial I believe it’s our responsibility to continue to fight for causes that will help future generations to come.
– Nicole DeFilippis, Teacher
Washington, D.C.


As I watched the presidential campaigns unfold, I was repeatedly shocked by the countless instances of sexism. The sad reminder that women, minorities, LGBTQ, immigrants and the disabled are still not treated equally washed over me with a dark despair. Of course, I knew our society was not even close to perfect, but somehow I thought the pinnacle stage of democracy would be a cut above the rest. Clearly I learned my lesson.

This election taught me that simply being aware of what’s going on in our government and caring about the state of our country is not enough. I have to try to create the world I want to live in. And so, I have started marching, reaching out to elected officials, taking more time to volunteer and paying closer attention to the news than I did before.

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From the moment I heard about the Women’s March I knew it could be a tangible way I could express my rage, take action and make my voice heard. There was no doubt in my mind that I was going to DC. I berated my mom and best friend with calendar invites to block off the big day, followed by updates about the movement and information on travel and hotels. It was essential that I spent the historic day with women who support me in everything I do and give me reason to fight for women’s rights.

I couldn’t be happier to say that my wish came true, for the most part. After months of anticipation, I finally got to walk hand in hand with these women, shouting for equality, justice and progress. While we had originally planned to march in DC, a bus that never showed up had other plans for us.

After a four hour wait in the wee hours of the morning, we realized Washington was not an option and instead channeled our fiery passion into the New York City sister march, which left nothing to be desired. There were moments during the march that I was left speechless by the radiant, positive energy that flowed around me — not to mention how it felt to be welcomed into a deafening sea of hundreds of thousands of participants proudly moving in unison.

Marching alongside my mom, who has been fighting for the same essential rights since 1969, was a humbling, frustrating, inspiring and unforgettable experience. It is sad to think that the world she sees today isn’t all that different than the one she marched in decades ago. I can’t understand how the peaceful, accepting ideals she instilled in me from a young age are not yet universally felt. She, and the many others who have walked a similar path, inspire me to continue their work. If they haven’t given up hope yet, what excuse do I have?

– Elizabeth Crowley
New York, N.Y.
Connect with Elizabeth on Twitter @LizFrances28


On the morning of January 21, I woke up at six in the morning and put on my NARAL Pro-Choice America hoodie and pink knit hat that my friend Lizz from high school made me. I pinned on my favorite feminist pins, packed my portable charger and some snacks, and headed down to the National Mall.

I work for a progressive feminist organization and often joke I am a “professional feminist,” so I thought I was ready. I had a plan in place to make sure I had all the collateral we needed, I had clementines, I had years of experience tucked under my belt — but none of that could have prepared me for the Women’s March.

This past election was disheartening not only for me, but for many women, immigrants, people of color, LGBTQ people and survivors of sexual assault across the country. It made us realize that the promise of full equality for all and eradicating hatred and fear in our political rhetoric was far from becoming our reality. The Women’s March reminded me that not only is there hope, but the resistance to misogyny, racism, sexism, xenophobia, hatred and bigotry is alive, well, and more awake and ready to fight than ever.

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As I got off the metro in L’Enfant Plaza, I started crying. Nearly every single person in the station was holding a homemade sign with messages of peace, strength, equality and tolerance. They all chatted and introduced themselves to one another. I had not realized how alone I had felt in the aftermath of the election, and how much I needed this sense of community, of belonging, of strength.

I cheered for my heroes, Gloria Steinem, Angela Davis, Cecile Richards, America Ferrara, Kirsten Gillibrand, Tammy Duckworth and Ilyse Hogue. I chanted, loud and proud, “THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!” and “BLACK LIVES MATTER!” I watched as little girls and young women walked past me, determined to fight to keep their hard-won rights and to keep fighting for progress and equality. I felt like I was at the epicenter of a truly intersectional movement to make people’s lives better.

One week later, my feet may have stopped hurting from being on them for seven hours, but my resilience certainly hasn’t stopped. And, it seems, neither has the resilience of the nearly three million who marched across the world.

People have been organizing postcard writing parties to their members of Congress, hanging banners on cranes behind the White House, marching for immigrant rights, and committing to daily or weekly acts of resistance. As this week’s TIME magazine cover notes, the resistance to Trump’s extreme agenda is rising. Without the Women’s March, we wouldn’t have had a place or a moment for us to come together and realize that if each one of us does one thing each day, we truly can change the course of history.

Let’s change history and fight for what we think is right together.

Becka Wall, Co-Founder and Editor of Moxie Mag, an online magazine dedicated to empowering young women
Washington, D.C.
Connect with Becka on Twitter @BeckaWall

Disclaimer: The political views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Not Another Millennial Blog.

Women's March

Why the Women’s March is Historic, for Millennials and All Ages

Author: Mary Grace Donaldson, Current Events/Politics

If you turn on any news station or open up any social media platform, it’s pretty hard to miss the Women’s March on Washington, happening today not just only in Washington but in several sister cities hosting spin-off marches — including cities as close to home as New York and Boston, and as far away as in countries including Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.

It’s not entirely difficult to figure out the initial reason for the march. Throughout now President Trump’s entire campaign process, it came to pass that he made a series of distasteful, misogynist, upsetting….you get the picture, comments.

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Trafalgar Square in London, photo courtesy of Lucy Sheriff (via Twitter: @sherifflucy)

But the March — while it is expected to be the largest inauguration-related demonstration in U.S. history — has become, for many, much more than just about protesting President Trump. In Nigeria, citizens are seizing the opportunity to protest a controversial gender equality bill. Marches in South America will demand action for violence against women.

According to its website, the mission of the Women’s March on Washington (and its sister Marches) is as follows:

“This election cycle has insulted, demonized and threatened many of us – immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault – and our communities are hurting and scared. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.”

Of course, this mission is important –- not just for millennials, but for world citizens of all ages. A few quick facts:

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Photo courtesy of CNN (via Twitter: @CNN)

I’m proud to say that millennials –- women and men alike –- are very much enthusiastic about attending Marches. While I’m not able to attend a March myself, I swell with pride thinking about my fellow millennials raising their voices in favor of several causes that are near and dear to my heart –- including the dire need for equal pay for women, LGBT rights and, as some of my fellow women’s rights advocates like to say, “the radical notion that women are people.”

The true significance of the March…is that so many people can come together to show what truly makes America great.

My best wishes to all those attending Marches this weekend. Please be peaceful. Please be respectful. And please let the world know you’re not going anywhere. With your united voice, you will change the world.

Disclaimer: The political views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Not Another Millennial Blog.