My Experience at the 2018 Women’s March in NYC

I was so excited to attend the Women’s March last week in NYC! This was the 2nd Women’s March but it was my first time going! I went because I wanted to be able to stand up against inequality and let my voice be heard! 

The march started at 11am and we were going to march from 72nd street to 42nd street- Bryant Park. My mom and I took the the path train to 33rd street because we came from New Jersey, and then we caught the R train to 42nd street so we can transfer to the #1 train. Going on the train from 42nd street to the upper west side of New York City was an event itself! I saw nothing but women, men, and children with pink hats, pink apparel, and creative posters. We were packed like sardines in the train station and pink took over the whole area. When the #1 train came, it was already packed with people who were also attending the march, but more people insisted on squeezing on the train anyway. My mom and I decided to wait for the next one. The next #1 train came, it was still packed and crowded, but this time my mom and I, along with other people, insisted on getting onto this train. On the train, there was no room to move. It was also hard to get off the train once you were on and stuck in the middle, surrounded by multiple bodies on every side of you. Because there were so many people, my mom and I decided that we were just going to get off on 66th street instead of 72nd street and just walk up.

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Once the train reached reached 66th street, my mom and I had to push our way through just to get off the train. Clearly, we weren’t the only women march attendees who decided to get off at 66th street because many other people in their pink apparel rushed off the train as well. Getting out of the train station was a breath of fresh air, literally. It was beautiful weather for a march, it didn’t feel like winter at all. There was already a crowd on 66th street and Broadway walking to 72nd street and Central Park West, so my mom and I went behind them. Even if we wanted to, we wouldn’t have been able to go around the crowd because the police blocked off many streets, which made it difficult to get to the entrance of the march. IMG_8433

In the beginning of the march, it was a lot of waiting. We didn’t move for the first 2 hours. It was still fun because the crowd shouted chants and right where I was standing there was a band. They made a variety of different beats and we turned our chants into songs and we danced. It was truly a moment of being united. There were women there, men and children there, and even dogs were there! It didn’t matter what your race or your sex was, everyone was there to stand up for something.

As we started moving, the band and the chants continued. There were people in buildings that shouted and cheered us on from their windows. Posters were raised high for everyone to see. People walked proudly with their heads high and their friends/ family members by their side. We marched as a community!

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Some of my favorite posters were the following:

 

I want to give a big thanks to the ladies behind the Women’s March, Teresa Shook, Vanessa Wruble, Tamika D. Mallory, Carmen Perez, Bob Bland, and Linda Sansour. They took the initiative to fight and made this march a nationwide event. I marched for racial equality, women’s rights, immigration reform, and more! I look forward to going again next year and I hope you Beauties decide to go to!!

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My First Spoken Word Experience

Girl! Be Heard Unplugged showWhen I was younger, I always wanted to go to a poetry slam or a spoken word cafe. The people snapping when they can relate, the engagement, the stories being told. It seemed like a great experience!

In September,  I auditioned for Girl Be Heard’s Sunday Workshops. Girl Be Heard develops, amplifies, and celebrates the voices of young women through socially conscious theatre-making. Their philosophy is ” if a girl can change her own life, she can change the lives of girls everywhere. We envision a world in which every girl is valued and encouraged to be a leader and change maker.” I wanted to be apart of this wonderful organization because I wanted to grow as a writer. I wanted to write about what I was passionate about. I wanted my voice to be heard.

We met every Sunday starting, October 22. When I got into this program, I met so many amazing and talented girls. They all had a story and they were all ready to be heard. On December 17th, Girl Be Heard held their annual Unplugged Holiday Showcase to give all the girls in the program an opportunity to share the pieces they’ve been working on.

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My amazing group! Manhattan Sunday Workshops!

I did an original piece called “You Can’t Touch My Hair.” I created this piece because I wanted to express the love I have for my hair, the experiences I’ve been through regarding my hair, and why I love my hair so much!

The show started at 3pm and I was the 7th person to go. I was so scared. Yes, I’ve been on stage before. Yes, I perform on stage all time, but this was different. It was different because I never performed an original piece before. That is a whole other stage of vulnerability! When I stepped on stage, I was still a little nervous and my heart was beating really fast, but as I started to recite my piece I felt completely comfortable. The audience was so engaged and supportive. When they could relate they snapped. When they really liked a line they made a sound like, “mmm” or “yesss!” IMG_5957Hearing that feedback while I was reciting, made me even more confident in my piece. It made me feel accomplished. I felt as if I actually touched someone’s heart with my piece. My piece could’ve made someone’s day or encouraged them to love themselves. My piece was more than about touching my hair. It was about making other girls aware that they aren’t alone! The feedback I received after I got off of stage was so heart warming. Girls came up to me and shared their experiences with me. Some told me they just got the courage to embrace their hair, and others told me they can 100% relate to my piece.

Overall, it was a great experience like I imagined! If you live near New York and you love writing, I advise you to check out Girl! Be Heard and see how you can get involved. The next time they have auditions, I encourage you to go! If you don’t live near New York and you love to write, find out what is in your community. I am sure there are writing workshops or cafes where you can recite your pieces!

Alright, enough chit chatting!! 😆 Here is my piece, “You Can’t Touch My Hair.”

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I hope you enjoyed it! Please let me know in the comments what you think. Also let me know if you guys like to write!

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Celebration of Womanhood Conference❗️💪🏾

• Hello Beauties!!•

Girls, 13-17, who live in Atlantic, Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset, or Union county please come out to the Celebration of Womanhood Conference that me and some other girls helped put together. It will be June 10th at Princeton University from 8am-3:30pm.
It’s FREE and there will be food, guest speakers, and workshops. Some of the workshops are about makeup, branding yourself by using social media, dj and making beats, and many more.
It will be fun!!🎉😊 If you are interested, the link to register will be attached.
#girlswithbeauty #girlswithbrains