By Caitlin Richards
At the Women’s Rally in downtown Raleigh Jan. 20, attendees stood up for women along with immigrants, working families, Muslims, people of color, LGBTQ+ people, Jews, refugees, people with disabilities, and issues like the #metoo movement, equal voting rights, health care, and gun regulations.
Various performers and speakers at the rally at Halifax Mall spoke about standing up for equality. The speakers included ministers, students who came from immigrant families, attorneys, commissioners, organizational leaders, and Education Justice Alliance.
“I want to fight for my right and the right of future women,” said Julia Piszczak, rally attendee. “Equality concerns me the most. I think that everybody should be equal. Men, women, it doesn’t matter your gender or where you come from. It should be equal. The world needs to become more accepting and we need to vote better people into office so that we can make sure what we want to happen actually happens.”
The most important ideas conveyed by the speakers were for women to take more of an active role in politics, for women to get equal pay for equal work, and for immigrants to not be turned away. Accepting everyone regardless of their gender, sexual identities, birthplace, economic status, or religious beliefs were the main points of focus during the speeches.
Many participants carried signs, the majority of which were anti-Trump.
“I am a wife, a mom, and an aunt and I’m from North Carolina. It’s time that we step up and protect one another,” said Kevyn Creech. “The issues I’m most concerned about are women’s rights, voting rights, and the environment. There needs to be more women in leadership positions in the government.”
North Carolina State University student Emma Coggins and University of North Carolina student McKenna Urbanski wanted to stand up for what they believe is right and attended the rally while also holding signs they made. They were not afraid to express their issues and concerns.
“First of all, today is my birthday and I thought there is no other good way to celebrate your birthday than standing up for women’s rights when you’re a feminist,” said Coggins.
“You can come here and do something, but going out into these places and doing something about it is important.”
“The most important issues to me are toxic masculinity, Islamophobia, sexual harassment and abuse, human trafficking, LGBTQ rights, the equity of women in general, and just equality,” said Urbanski.
“I think its most important to get involved in an organization that supports ending domestic violence and actually implement a change. So getting involved in politics and even just voting for people who are going to do these things and take action is important.”
Through the rally attendees’ expressions and signs, there were a lot of passion and emotion being conveyed without even saying a word. There were people that came to the rally for different reasons, but they wanted the same outcome.
Some people were there to stand up for health care and some people were there standing up for equal rights, but everyone together shared the same idea, which was the desire to see change.
The Women’s Rally on Raleigh led people to come together and express their feelings as one, and get inspired and charged up to take action and not just to sit back. Some people seem to have more differences than similarities in the world until a rally like this takes place.