The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day; a movement is only people moving. – Gloria Steinem
OAASIS is building a movement that empowers communities to prevent child sexual abuse and help survivors live full, healthy, joyful lives. Our movement does not exist in a vacuum. We are impacted by the world around us, just as we impact the world.
For many people, the world around us has been having a more pronounced impact recently. We wrote to you shortly after the election, as we were talking with people who were being harassed and were experiencing trauma (new or triggered from the past). We talked with people who knew they should be treated with dignity and respect, but wondered if other people believed the same thing. We wrote to you to remind you that you are important.
In the months since the election, we continue to hear people’s concerns, fears, and anxieties, as well as ways that people have been harassed. People have wondered: when the world feels overwhelming, what do we do?
We continue to impact the world around us. We continue to build our movement. And we get to support—and be supported by—other movements that share similar principles and goals.
On Saturday, we’ll be joining thousands of people in the Women’s March. Klarissa will march in DC, representing OAASIS under the banner with other powerful organizations: Black Women’s Movement, Just Beginnings Collaborative, A Long Walk Home, Girls for Gender Equity, Sadie Nash Leadership Project, Just Detention International, ACLU, Hope Works of Howard County, Demos, #Our 100 Women of Color Initiative, Women Action in Media, and Mujeres Unidas y Activas. Kerry will be representing OAASIS in Portland, standing up for our values in our home community. We will be moving (literally) in support of principles we hold: dignity; respect; equity; and love.
Here’s why we’re marching: we’re marching because we love our country—and the people in it. We’re marching because we know that we, the people, have powerful voices. We’re marching because we believe everyone should be treated with dignity and respect—and we see daily that our structures and systems fail to make this a lived reality, particularly for people of color, low-income communities, women, people who are LGBTQ, people who have intellectual and physical disabilities, people who were born in other countries, and people who our predominant culture deems “other”. We’re marching because we know that we can change these structures and create greater equity and prosperity for us all. We’re marching because we believe that love wins. We’re marching because we believe that every single person has value and deserves to be safe. We’re marching as part of our work to ensure these values are upheld through every level of our government.
You are just as important today as you were on the best day you’ve ever had. We will carry that truth with us while we march, and hold it in all of our work.
Will you also be marching in DC or Portland on Saturday? If you will be in DC and want to march under OAASIS’s banner, please contact Klarissa; contact Kerry if you want to try to march together in Portland. And stay tuned for more opportunities to raise your voice and build our movement during Oregon’s legislative session.