By Shelby Kim
Former YEA Camper and staff member
It’s inspiring to be so sure that an event in your lifetime will be remembered in history, but it’s especially electrifying when you and 5 million fellow humans in 673 places around the country and world(!) are the ones making it unforgettable.
The Women’s Marches that rocked the globe on the day after the inauguration brought people together in a timeless form of public outcry, but in an unprecedented degree. Experienced activists and first-time activists walked side by side, generations united, people of so many backgrounds joined voices. Handmade signs expressed concern, power, and resistance, representing issues as diverse and intersecting as we are.
At YEA Camp we explore the ways that all oppressions are connected. Our movements now more than ever are strands of one movement, with a clear political emergency to collectively resist. To name many but not all of these struggles: reproductive rights, sexism, racism, protecting and valuing Black lives, immigration, healthcare, climate change, Islamophobia, Indigenous rights, the fight for a living wage, Transphobia, LGBTQ rights, rights for people with disabilities, corporate power and corruption. With so many lives and futures under attack, this solidarity is what keeps me hopeful. We can only be strong together.
Now that’s it’s been a few days since the march, I know we’re all wondering…. Where do we go from here? How do we do this work that we chanted about, to fight back against the hate that has been hurting our communities for so long, and is now in the front seat of our government?
This will look different for everyone. I hope we can use this opportunity to re-center ourselves and look deeply at our strengths, challenges, privileges, biases, and desires for what we want our world to be like. This is a great time to find local or national organizations that are active on issues you care about, and to educate ourselves on issues we want to learn more about and prepare to educate others or intervene when it is safe to. If you want to get involved in politics with this new administration, learn more and find a group through IndivisibleGuide.com. Let’s be very aware of when our movements are not reflecting the inclusion and intersectional approach that we need. We must remember everybody who marched with us, and even those who didn’t.
So we’re all at a pivotal moment. Where does YEA Camp fit in? Through camp, we all have created a brilliant network that spans the country (and beyond), making change in big and small steps, the way we do. Our footprints are all over! Our campers and staff attended marches in over 20 cities! So let’s reach out to each other and to our communities to remind each other how powerful and needed we are!
And many of our schools and communities are now full of young people on the verge of becoming activists, electrified and listening. Let’s find ways to encourage them too! Share YEA Camp with them, where they can get tools and connections to transform their passion into action, just like you.
From now through this weekend, anyone who signs up for camp with the code “WomensMarch” they’ll get a 10% discount on tuition to camp. Register by Sunday at midnight for the discount!
Let’s keep this momentum going, friends.