Polarized is a weekly column that focuses on snapshots, present and past.
As a Latina woman, it is more important for me than ever to take heed to the words of Audre Lorde, “ If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.”
Making my community visible and heard has become my life’s work.
The Women’s March saw some of it’s largest crowds in Los Angeles, an estimated 750,000 women of all races, ages, and yes, men too poured into the center of the city. I was proud to march in solidarity among them and I was even more proud of being an Angeleno. Los Angeles is one of the most diverse cities in America. It will also be disproportionately impacted by the policies of this administration that targets Latino immigrants and the underserved.
I want to dedicate my first column to the strong Latinas that were in attendance at the march in Los Angeles and across the country. Women who work hard everyday to break barriers, improve their communities, and who are an integral part of the fabric of our country.
They represent a history of survival and strength, and a light that will never go out.
Laura is a Social Justice Advocate. Why she marched:
“.. because I wanted to take a stand against Trump and his plans to dismantle all of the progress made on behalf of women, immigrants, people of color, the LGBT community and the environment. Instead of sitting at home feeling hopeless, I wanted to channel my anger and fear into action. I marched because I wanted to be on the right side of history. When future generations ask me where I was when Trump was destroying America, I want to answer that I took to the streets and stood against racism, misogyny and xenophobia.”
Laura is taking matters into her own hands by running for City Council in her hometown of Huntington Park.
Mila’s mom is 20 weeks pregnant and brought her one year old daughter to the march. “I wanted her to know that on this historic day, I stood up for her and her rights.”
Melissa is a community organizer raised in East Los Angeles. Why she marched:
“It was important to me to show up and show that I will not stay quiet on issues I care about such as: human rights: health care, high quality education and the injustices in our incarceration system. I am against everything this new administration stands for. There is so much that has to be done besides this March, but solidarity is a beautiful thing especially for people of color.”
Chantal is an Assistant Dean at Yale, she is originally from Los Angeles. Aside from all her other duties, Chantal has been working to make sure that students of color and those who are LGBTQ feel supported on campus during this time.