Stephani Anderson

After an estimated 500,000 people showed up to participate in the Women’s March on Washington on Jan. 21, many protesters are asking some questions: what happens next, and how can protestors continue to resist Trump’s administration infringing upon human rights?

First off, we need to stay engaged in our government. This is not the time to sit back and relax now that the march is over. We have to continue to stay involved and push for an agenda of equality, racial justice, and freedom of religion. This all sounds great, but how do we go about achieving our agenda?

It’s time to get off the internet and stop hiding behind our computer screens. While social media is an efficient way to communicate and stay informed with the world, we can’t forget how important face-to-face discussions are. It is easier to understand one another’s perspective on matters when we can talk and debate in person rather than through technology, which can lead to misunderstandings.

If you aren’t involved in what’s going on in our government, it’s never too late to join the fight in protecting our human rights.

Sophia Dycaico, a second year history of public policy major, said that the women’s march is only the “beginning of the fight and not the end all be all.” Dycaico participated in the march and believes in the power of forming coalitions with people from different backgrounds to create a more inclusive nation.

It’s up to us to contact our local legislatures, join leagues, educate ourselves and others, and simply talk about issues, whether it’s at the dinner table with family or in a more formal setting.  

As a college student, I know how difficult it is to keep up in the political sphere. You just have to find a way that works for you. I believe that we all have the ability to make a difference in some way.

If you enjoy writing, reach out to your local legislatures by going on USA.gov to find contact information for President Donald Trump, Congress members, State Governors and State Legislators. Believe me, it’s not a waste of time. I once wrote to United States Senator Dianne Feinstein from California and received a reply. The letter I wrote concerned her stance on how the gun lobby has too much power in Washington. Most importantly, it is up to us to get talking, moving, and sharing to make sure we are not denied our fundamental rights.

Another way to resist policies that alienate and devalue our nations people is to join leagues. The League of Women Voters is a non-governmental organization which helps people to stay informed and active in government through education and advocacy.

In fact, there is a League of Women Voters chapter here in Santa Barbara which has community forums. These forums are guided around a specific topic each month, such as low-income housing and healthcare. This is just one of many ways that we can show our strength and activeness when it comes to our rights and our nation’s policies.

Many people, including myself, have questioned the effectiveness of marches such as this one, wondering what such protests can achieve in a world where Trump sits in the Oval Office.

“The women’s march was effective in the way that it gave so many people hope that what the administration is doing is not what we stand for,” Dycaico said.

This is a valid point about the purpose of the Women’s March. This event goes beyond preventing Trump from being re-elected; it is about the struggle for equality and safety for all, especially marginalized people.

In some way or another, we will be affected by the decisions made by Trump and his cabinet. It does not matter if we are affected directly or indirectly through the people around us. We must defend one another and work together to make the world a safer, more accepting place. After all, as the Women’s March on Washington showed, we are strongest when we join together in solidarity.

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