Thanks to my friend, Jan Shaw, who took the video of Savannah Fox Tree-McGrath and me with my camera from the side of the stage at today's Boston Women's March as we stood before over 150 THOUSAND people. We were the first speakers after the 11am program began - America the Beautiful by the Boston Children’s Chorus, the Pledge of Allegiance by Commissioner Giselle Sterling, the emcee Mariama White-Hammond, and then us. This is one of the most meaningful moments of our lives - representing our people, and all people, for equity and social justice!
As an indigenous first nations person of Arawak descent, my ancestors greeted Christopher Columbus. We have been fighting attempted genocide, intolerance, hate, lies about our people, lack of recognition for our achievements and contributions, racist mascot representations in media, schools, and sports, and acts of violence for over 500 years. We are the original “survivors.” “Standing up” is in our blood!
Today, we are reminded that our struggle is not over, it is part of what makes us women, humans, and survivors. We are stronger when we stand together as allies, activists, agitators, and accomplices. As our ally James Baldwin once said, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” Today is the next chance to face the challenge of keeping our hard-won rights and creating more equity for those who are still fighting!
* Two words have been added, since speaking on 1/21/17. They are "schools" and "affordable."