Immediately after the presidential election of 2016, women from around the country (and world) came together in solidarity on January 21, the day after the inauguration, to march for the protection of our rights, our safety, and our health.
At SVA, with the support of our President, David Rhodes, and our Film Department Chair, Reeves Lehmann, we began to organize for the March in mid-November. We debated organizing buses and travelling to Washington D.C., but when we discovered there was a march being organized in NYC, we decided to stay local.
I was able to contact the organizer of the March, Katherine Siemionko, who enthusiastically welcomed our sponsorship. At that point we began organizing in earnest. We aligned ourselves with the organizations of both Daily Kos and New York Women in Film and Television. By mid-January we had 200+ sign-ups, 150 T-shirts, and a slew of banners and signs.
We were also given six press passes which I gave out to my incredibly talented students – the passes gave us unlimited access to the March and the opportunity to film the March from multiple perspectives.
We had the help of wonderful volunteers, our own students, and members of the Daily Kos, and New York Women in Film and Television communities. They carried signs, helped organize our group, and were madly texting our location to those who were lost. I am grateful to all of them.
While we had our meeting location firmly in place, by 10:30 in the morning on the day of the March, it became obvious that the best laid plans often transform into different plans altogether. Many more marchers than projected came to 2nd avenue and 47th Street, and most of our participants were unable to get to us because of the crushing crowds. However, in the spirit of the March people happily adjusted and made their own way through side streets and avenues, carving out their own experiences and spreading their voices far and wide.
It really does take a village!