Women Rising | MIT Center for Civic Media
Mariel Garcia-Montes, @faeriedevilish, is a CMS graduate student and research assistant at the Center of Civic Media, and an affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center. She is pondering the questions she asked herself (without the chances to formally explore) throughout her work in tech capacity building in civil society in Mexico and Latin America – especially those around youth, media, civic/moral education and digital literacies. Previously, she worked for UNICEF (HQ), SocialTIC (Mexico), and has been involved in over 100 tech for change projects in the last decade.
(This is not my post; it's a group effort with contributions from Catherine, Cindy, Emilie, Jing, Natalie, Nicole and Willow)
Some of the best lessons in technology, media and civics come from shared offline experiences in that intersection, and the weekend of January 19-21, 2016, brought plenty of that for some of us at the Center for Civic Media. In particular, our experiences in the Women's March (in different cities) gave us food for thought that we want to remember as time passes, and that's why we are keeping track of them here.
Here are some postcards and reflections shared by women in the Civic community:
Catherine's postcards from the Boston march:
From Cindy, reporting on the DC march:
"Planned Parrot-hood". I gazed at this family fondly thinking that they are here to protest like me. Then I read their sign. #democracy #differencesofopinion
Just received this from Santa Fe and it's got my vote for best sign. "My taco is nacho business"
From Jing, reporting on the Boston march:
From Mariel and Natalie, reporting on the Boston march:
(Mariel) As we walked on the Longfellow bridge, surrounded by families who chose to do the same, the T (the Boston subway, that runs over the ground and over the river in this segment) slowed down and started honking the horn at us. The trains were packed, and signs were raised and pushed against the windows.
In absolute terms, I have been in protests as large as the Boston Women's March; but, then again, I guess that is not particularly special for a Mexico City resident. In terms of proportion, I knew as I witnessed this incident that it was the first time I got to live something this big.
Lots can be and has been said about the creativity seen in the different marches, from seas of pink hats to clever chants, but the stories of effort behind sign-making stuck with us:
- Mary is a quilter; "cutting out bits and pieces comes naturally". She has been attending peace gatherings for the last 15 years.
- Alicyn on the right is a former hairdresser, and she said this is the first time she feels bad enough to march. She is excited about the 100-day plan.
- Ellen and Mandy are the students behind the MIT sign-making session. They realized that there were probably many students, especially undergrads, that had never attended a protest in their life; and so they plotted to make a welcoming space where they could get fed, inspired to make signs and find marching buddies to stay safe during the march.
Jessica works at one of the major tech employers in Boston. Being from Singapore, she said she had never experienced an event like this, and we don't think she was just talking about the scale of it. It was an honor to get to share this experience with her.
(Mariel) The funny thing about the Women's March in Boston is that we didn't march. The largest public space and the planned route literally could not fit all the people who attended. And so, after an hour and a half of waiting to march, we gave up -- like many others. Point for protesting in Latin America: first we march, then we meet.
Rather than end, however, it would seem that the march filled up the restaurants nearby, Chinatown, and, eventually, the T stations -- full of signs and pink hats. On my journey back, a group of girls wearing pink hats, accompanied by two dads, caught my eye. They turned out to be the youngest daughters of a group of five mothers of 9th graders, all of whom went together to the march in DC. In their hat-making session, they made enough hats for the youngest ones who would stay in the city and attend this march instead.
When you lose faith in democracy, a ten-year-old on the subway might talk you back into it.
From Nicole, reporting from the march in DC:
A few of my favorite photos (more on Flickr) --
From Willow, reporting from the march in Seattle: