I marched because I learned the importance of being an advocate in 1976 when I started my first job as a counselor at Planned Parenthood of Lincoln. I saw the need for women to have affordable health care, birth control counseling, and pregnancy option counseling without being judged. I marched because I fear that funding for Planned Parenthood will continue to be reduced and women will not have an option for free or affordable health care, that a woman’s rights to control reproduction, and that their right to have a safe and legal abortion will all be taken away.
In 1986, I started working as an Independent Living Advisor at the League of Human Dignity. This involved advocating for the rights of students with disabilities to see that schools were applying the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). So many individuals with disabilities are still facing huge barriers to live independent lives without being judged by society based on the fact that they have a disability. I am a woman with a disability and felt like my voice needed to be heard at the Women’s March.
I marched because the LGBTQ community faces barriers in regulations of employment discrimination, bias in hiring, promotion, job assignment, termination, and compensation, as well as harassment on the basis of one’s sexual orientation. I marched because I fear their rights with marriage equality will be stripped.
I marched to fight for the rights of woman to receive equal pay. Women still are not receiving equal pay for equal work, let alone equal pay for work of equal value. This disparity not only affects women’s spending power, it penalizes their retirement security by creating gaps in Social Security and pensions.
I marched because of race discrimination. Martin Luther King is one of my heroes and I marched for him. I marched for Margaret Sanger, Rosa Parks, Susan B. Anthony and every person who has fought for the rights of all the causes that I believe in.
I marched because I want our voices to be heard!