Piper Carters Reflection on Women’s March Delegation DC 2019

Gender equity and racial justice are tightly interwoven historically, and currently Black, Brown, & Indigenous Women’s bodies, livelihoods, and opportunities have been and are heavily policed.

Women of color are at the greatest risk in this current political environment, in which right-wing conservatism is threatening a range of public services from health coverage to education access to financial regulations.

The goal of the Women’s March is to achieve gender equity for all Women and resist racialized and gendered rules, policies, institutions, and practices.

Women of color are the best suited to articulate solutions to these issues that directly impact us and our communities.

Women of color must be at the forefront of this movement to resist the inequities and injustices of these oppressive systems, which are infested with sexism and racism, lifting up those most vulnerable.

Women of color must stand together and continue resisting while working to critique and improve this movement.

I attended as a Delegate of The US Chapter of The World March of Women to be heard and make sure this Women’s movement includes voices of those of us like myself a Black Woman from Detroit.  I represented the lived experiences of those of us who are hardest hit by these policies that directly target us because we disproportionately face systemic social and economic hardships.

On Friday morning, one day before the Women’s March, I landed in DC in time to attend The Indigenous People’s March. That was a perfect way to be grounded and centered in coming together for solidarity. The smell of sage brought peace to the cold snowy overcast environment. The energy was lively and sometimes somber with drumming and songs that spoke to unity. Seeing the mix of various Indigenous traditional garments and adornments was comforting and welcoming. I got a chance to listen to a few speeches from folks from across the nation call for a unified front to support Indigenous life.

I left that beautiful gathering in the afternoon to attend a batucada drum building and decorating circle at the DC office with the other Delegates.  That is where we connected with folks we know very well and not at all. We got a chance to laugh and be creative together. Afterwards, a group of us walked back to our hotel together with our drums singing, making beats, and laughing along the way for the entire 15-20 minutes. That was probably the most radical part of this entire experience: living and being carefree and full of joy for those moments together.

I was honored and grateful to have an entire day on Sunday struggling and strategizing with the other incredible Delegates from around the world including our Comrade from Mozambique, Graca Samo.

I appreciate the space and time we were able to devote with one another raising awareness, developing capacities, deepening understandings, relationships, and solidarity to be able to continue advocating for gender equity centering safety, health, immigration, indigenous sovereignty, specifically with a grassroots feminist framework.

We were able to discuss and exchange experiences, assessing the achievements and challenges of these interventions implementing grassroots feminist values. This meeting offered us the opportunity to share and discuss information about our work and the grassroots feminist activities and practices we are implementing to ensure sustainability.

One very critical point that was lifted up is the reminder to include fathers, fatherhood, and various forms of family structure in our conversations about the society we are building. We must include everyone in our feminist economy.

We also continued lifting up our fallen Comrade Berta Cáceres, environmental and gender justice leader from Honduras.