Thousands gathered to celebrate Baltimore Women’s March on the anniversary of the historic marches held around the country last Jan. 20 and call for women to stand strong, stand together and make their voices heard. Delegate Mary Washington gave a dynamic speech at War Memorial Plaza in downtown Baltimore on the clear and sunny Saturday.
“Good Afternoon, Baltimore women! I am Mary Washington and I represent the 43rd legislative district and YOU in Annapolis. I am the first and the only out, loud-and-proud, African-American woman elected to office in the Maryland General Assembly. Let’s change that.
We are here today in front of this memorial to war, an edifice built by the patriarchy, to remind us of the consequences that violence and discord can wreak upon our humanity. We are all here today in celebration of women and the power with each of us, that when unleashed is a living, breathing testimony to life. We are, as women here today and across the planet, a dynamic movement to the unrelenting necessity to do what must be done for ourselves, and for future generations. We are building a movement that far exceeds the strength, breadth, and height of these grey, dead walls that surround us. My sisters and brothers, these walls are crumbling. We have seen resistance, persistence and resolve more than ever this year.
45 may be able to shut down the government but no one is gonna shut this here down! We will resist. We will resist the temptation to give up. We will resist the temptation to believe that the way this has been is the way it will always be. No more mansplaining for us.
We will persist in building a better country, a better state, and a better Baltimore City. We will persist in creating a new narrative where no one is left behind. We will persist in our dedication and commitment to progressive and sustainable change. We will persist in trusting each other to have our backs. We will persist in building a culture where difference does not challenge solidarity, where critique is not seen as disloyalty and where you don’t have to carry the same sign you did last year to march together for a better Baltimore.
In this fight before us, it is not the chair you sit in, it’s where you stand that counts. It’s not a seat, or office that authorizes us to demand something better – to make a change for our city. That power, that power is already inside each one of you. Look at your neighbor’s face, see in the eyes of those you love and those that trust you. That power is in that hand that reaches out and that you grab as if you life depended on it. You raise it up and say, ‘We are in this together. We are in this together.’
Let’s say, ‘We will resist.’
‘We will persist.’
‘We will build our resolve and build each other up together.’