On Wednesday, February 8, at the new Washington Coffee Shop, a meeting of ten or so women was held. The formally named “Action 2: Huddle” meeting was organized by and for women (as well as men) who are joining the movement of women’s rights in our country. The movement consists of several actions; first being the marches around the world on January 21, and now, meeting with each other. The goal of the meeting was to find a way to transport the energy and optimism of the marches into the communities and to define the actions that can be made next.
Primary organizer of the meeting, Audrey Schlote, says, “I wanted to do this for my daughter. She is thirty-one years old and I want her to be able to see the end of the tunnel. I wanted to help with this because I felt that this is the real beginning of something beautiful.”
To begin the meeting, each woman introduced herself and told one sentence describing why they chose to come. Sue Schulte, 60, stated, “I do have hope [for this country and the movement], but I also do have some fear.”
Audrey Schlote said, “All of these marginalized people continue asking us ‘what’s new?’ They become so blind-sided, but this is a real issue that needs to be addressed.” Other women said they came to visualize the hope they believe in.
During the meeting, Mrs. Schlote had us close our eyes and envision the world in 2021-- what we see happening in the years to come, how our country will change, and if any of our concerns are being suppressed. We were to think about a world where freedom, justice, human rights, and democracy are held sacred.
Emily Keefe, a Japanese-American from Washington, Missouri, reflected on her time as, “I felt inspired by all the people still rallying together, determined to make a change, and glad that people are no longer being upset and angry about this crazy election.”
The biggest question this meeting aimed to answer was “what’s next? We marched, we made a point, and now what?” Supporters plan to contact representatives and senators in their areas daily, follow the happenings in Washington D.C., and participate in more focused marches in the future. They’re planning to reach out to everyone they can. They will make their voices heard in every way.
According to the women who attended the meeting, this struggle is not a sprint, but a marathon. They see that it takes a long process for anything to be really accomplished, and from this meeting, they seem to understand this movement is no exception.
Rose Drain put it as: “We are in a tunnel of equality, and right now we’re in the middle of the tunnel, with the light taunting us. It’s too far to go back, and it’s too soon to give up. When it becomes dark, the light vibrations are rising.”
Lori Green says, “I feel that we’ve hit rock bottom, but everything that goes down must come back up.”
Many women in the meeting mentioned a quote that kept them positive. One communally inspiring was one by Maya Angelou-- “We are more alike than we are unalike.” And what a truth this is.