“Democracy does not require uniformity… Democracy does require a basic sense of solidarity – that idea that for all our outward differences, we are all in this together, that we rise and fall as one.” – President Barack Obama
Women across the country are rolling up their sleeves. On January 21, 2017, the day after our President-elect’s inauguration, the Million Women March will take place in Washington, D.C., and local marches will happen all around the country, including Aspen. Historically, the first Million Women March was conceived in 1997 by Phile Chionesu. The intention was two-fold: 1) To help bring social, political, and economic development to black communities of the United States; and 2) To bring hope, empowerment, unity, and sisterhood to anyone of African descent globally regardless of nationality, religion, or economic status. More recently, the post-Trump Inauguration Million Women March movement started on Facebook as a demonstration to show strength, power, courage, and solidarity amongst women and all disenfranchised groups.
As a human rights advocate, environmentalist, and most importantly, a mom, I found this movement compelling. I want to show my girls how to stand up for what they believe; how to share their voice; how to listen to others; how to be active, thoughtful citizens; and, how to make their community and world a better place.
Local “Sister” Marches like ours are popping up all over the country. Not everyone can leave their families or job, or afford to fly and stay in D.C.; plus, bringing together local communities can be powerful. My co-organizer, Heather Stevenson, and I had an “ah-ha!” moment when we were discussing the difficulties of getting to D.C. with small children as working moms: Why not demonstrate locally in Aspen? Wait, why not SKI as well as March in Aspen since that’s what we like to do? Aspen-style of course, starting a bit later than other Marches, ending with après, with a little art and poetry mixed in? Why can’t we make this family-focused and fun? Aspen’s Million Women SKI & March thus materialized.
Here’s the Jan 21 schedule:
- 11AM, Aspen Art Museum (AAM). We have piggy-backed the AAM’s monthly family workshop and designed it to support this March. Based on the work of political activist and artist Andrea Bowers, we’re inviting the community to share their voice through visual language, and to think about what we can accomplish in our community through teamwork. We will use the phrase, “Together we can (fill in the blank)” to prompt words you can then draw on a wearable/skiable sign for the day. And don’t worry, they’ve ordered tons of slippers so our ski boots don’t mess up the floors.
- 1PM Aspen Gondola Plaza. We head up the gondola and ski down. We re-gather post-ski at 2p in the Plaza to march through town to Hooch. There will be music and a poetry jam along the way, but we’re still working on those details.
Aspen’s Million Women SKI & March is the highest March happening in the country, and metaphorically speaking, we want the March to rise above the rampant political insults and negativity. We want our fundamentally loving attitude during this March to serve as a model for our children and for our small town and for the world. Everyone, regardless of gender, race, age, ethnicity, religion, sexual preference, political party, etc. is welcome in this March. We want everyone to know that we want to hear their voice while we stand together as a unified community.
We hope you can join us!
Kim Master, Organizer