As a young activist, there's a tricky line to balance when it comes to dealing with emotion.
Anger is usually what fuels me--that daily dose of injustice, disappointment, and grief that sucker-punches you whenever you read the news. It's both liberating and draining. But this weekend in D.C., when I took to the streets as a member of the national Women's March Youth Empower Cohort, for a moment, something else replaced that anger. It felt kind of like hope.
Because even though I noticed struggles and rifts within the Women's March--like performative activism, non-inclusivity, close-mindedness--I was energized by the diverse, heartfelt, inspirational, and committed youth protesters. Youth are at the forefront of a major shift in activism--from movements that are superficial and reactionary to those that are nuanced and intersectional. I'm so grateful to have met the leaders of this movement. I know we will all stick around--not because we choose to, but because we know there is no option not to.
Welcome to the youth wave.
March day was freezing and rainy, but I had never felt more energized. I marched with a contingent of youth from across the country, creating a powerful Youth Wave that was reported on everywhere from NBC News to Vice.
Even though the Women's March was far from perfect, I'm strengthened by the young allies I've gained and the friendships I made. There's a lot of anger, still, but there's also a lot of hope. Now all I have to do is gather the aches and impulses inside me, translate those into words or movements or projects, and maybe try to change the world.