United, determined, inspired - Stacy's March on Washington.

Passionado Stacy Richards hopped on a plane to Washington DC to take part in the March on Washington in January. Before she left, she asked us if she could contribute a Passion Story - little did she know that the March was to have such an effect on her. Here's her account of an historic day. 

It’s been almost a month since I traveled east to join the Women’s March on Washington, and I’m still processing what has become a life-altering experience for me. 

Advocating for women’s rights has been a strong undercurrent throughout my adult life, so shortly after election day 2016 I asked myself: how can I miss what is potentially the biggest activist event of my lifetime?  Then I booked my flights.  Plans for marches across the country emerged over the next few weeks, amounting to an unbelievable worldwide turnout, including my home city of St. Paul. 

There was something so profound about being in DC, marching past the buildings that house the foundations of our democracy. 

I was introduced first-hand to the concept of intersectionality on March Day – men and women of all ethnicities, creeds, and cultures coming together with diverse causes yet one common, unbreakable thread: a gut-level drive to stand up and say – we will not back down, we will not go backwards, we will not become a nation that accepts discrimination, in any of its ugly forms. 

I will never forget the people, the overt emotion and the common bond that we shared that day.  70+ year old women taking more than 10 minutes to make their painstaking way up the stopped escalator from the Metro.  Young children holding signs, and the hands of their parents.  Wheelchairs, walkers, canes.  Hetero-couples, same-sex couples, several generations from families.  Smiles, hugs, fist-pumps, songs, chants and impromptu dancing.  Intersectional, but One.  So colorful.  United.  Determined.  Inspirational.  And now, permanently bonded in an ongoing struggle where we will never accept defeat.

Stacy Richards is the VP, Business Development at Menttium a global mentoring and consulting form based in Minnesota. You can reach her here.