January 21, 2017, three #ŪncoverdWomen including our founder, Schuanne Cappel, and jewelry designer Shahla Karimi, marched on Washington for equality, women's rights, and to trumpet compassion and inclusion.
SHAHLA KARIMI: I am a minority. I am the daughter of an immigrant. I am the daughter of a Muslim. I am the daughter of a Native American. I marched because the best way for women to achieve gender equality in society, at home, and on the job is to raise awareness. I marched because the best way for my friends and family of different races, religions, and sexualities is to raise awareness. The only way to cultivate change is to educate those standing in the way.
That Saturday in January, best-friends, new-friends, co-workers, babies, toddlers, brothers, sisters, mothers, and husbands knit together into a blanket of solidarity, and formed a sea of glitter signs and pink “pussy” hats. We roared together creating sound waves that reverberated from the Capital Building to the Washington Monument and spilled out into every street connecting the National Mall.
I can’t precisely pinpoint the feeling I experienced, except to describe it as a surge of sisterhood, empowerment, rebellion and righteousness.
In the days leading up to the event I had some of the most intimate conversations I have had with the women and men in my newfound community of women and male allies. We needed to have a voice and stage. We were millions of voices strong and united, and the world was our stage; 673 marches were held worldwide. The slogan “Stronger Together” from my days working on the Obama Campaign echoed in my head throughout the weekend and stuck with me as I traveled back home to Brooklyn. I realized what we needed most was hope. We got hope.
SCHUANNE CAPPEL: I marched because it's important to me that both men and women are educated about respecting each other's space, thoughts and capabilities. Particularly, I protested promises to repeal Roe v Wade, rape culture, and gender inequality. I was appalled by how both men and women not only forgave but were ignorant to the implications of excusing "locker room talk" and similar behaviors that are physically and psychologically harmful towards women (and unhealthy for men).
I was also there
as a woman in business, and in support of fellow friends and women in business like Shahla.
Our place in and the condition of the economy impacts our livelihoods and the country's welfare. I wanted the new administration to be keenly aware that women deserve (and will take) a seat at the table, have economic power and expect shrewd stewardship of the economy not just in favor of people at the top of the tax bracket, but men and women across tax brackets, including small businesses owners like me and my friends'.
While marching, I mostly felt overwhelmed because I was so proud and grateful that women outstretched for miles showed up in support of themselves, relatives, immediate communities, causes and each other transparently.
I was approached by a caucasian woman asking how she could support me as a black woman confronted with an unfair justice system. In that moment I was humbled and grateful that she would reach out across sore racial divides, vulnerable and genuine, and attempt to not only sympathize with my experience, but also seek agency. The march, this woman, made clear that we each care about a vast number of issues, and if we educate and support each other within and across our issue based coalitions, we will be an indomitable force.
Both Shahla and I left the march with a sense of duty and excitement. We created the Feminist Bar necklace as a recognizable symbol of the wearer's sympathetic ear, strength, and attitude. It serves as a sign and reminder for women to be emboldened to use their voices, dollars, talents and influence to advance the women's movement. We thank Nylon Magazine for their support.