Monday, March 9, 2015

Taking Gender Equality to the Streets of Manhattan

On Sunday afternoon,  Alberta Johnson, Suzie De Luca, Alex Shkandrij, Madeline Wieler and myself (Christie McLeod) took part in the gender equality march. Prior to the march, all of the participants congregated at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza at 47th St & 2nd Ave to listen to a few speakers. Ban-Ki Moon, the UN Secretary-General called for global action. I missed the name of the person who spoke after Ban-Ki Moon, but he ferverently called on all of the young people present to be agents of social change.

Leymah Roberta Gbowee, Liberian peace activist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, gave an incredibly powerful speech on how the world has been functioning.
"Imagine trying to get something done with one eye covered. Imagine trying to do everything with one eye covered. This is how our world has been functioning. It's time for the world to open up the other eye, so that we can function properly."
Jackie Wilson then sang "Break the Chain" -- the iconic song from the One Billion Rising movement --which got everyone dancing and jumping around.
AnnaLynne McCord, best known for her role on 90210, then read a piece she had written.

"I dream of the day when every baby and every child grows up without the fear of violence.I dream of the day when our world will open its eyes and see that we are not separated by national or international lines, and we are certainly not separated by male or female.... I dream of the day where we see that we are all the same. I am you and you are me. We are you and you are us. We are human. It makes us united. It maes us one. So let's be one." 

And then we marched! Due to a manhole that caught on fire, the march had to be re-routed, so I'm not entirely sure where we walked, but we ended up at Time Square! It was inspiring to see the diversity of people that came out to march. It was equally interesting to see the diversity of messages that people chose to march in support of. It was a moving reminder that therre are still SO many facets of society in which gender equality has not been reached.
To see pictures from the march, check out my photo essay at my blog, Seeking Social Justice


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