Lovers Prevail at the Women’s March
Why did we send a carful of team members out to the Women’s March on Washington for the inauguration? Simple. Here at Chandelier, we pride ourselves on diversity. The majority of our company is made up of women, non-Americans, and members of the LGBT community. We believe this diversity, this multiplicity of perspective, makes our work better. Without them, we wouldn’t be Chandelier. In the wake of an administration that threatens to take away the rights of these groups that make us who we are, we figured the least we could do is stand up for our team and make it known that it is our differences that makes us great, that lovers prevail.
Our #1 priority out there was to tell uplifting stories and promote positive change. How could we activate the people around us by championing human rights and social good, and take a firm stance against hatred? It started with design. Our team developed a series of stickers to hand out to anyone who wanted one (and they went like hotcakes).
On Inauguration day, we participated in peaceful protest with a few hundred community members and allies of the Indigenous Peoples, rallying at a park to vocalize concern about DAPL and impending climate change. They burned sage, played drums, sang songs, and took off marching, converging with thousands of others protesting on behalf of their own causes. As the day progressed, we read about violence breaking out in other areas from a small, radical percentage of those demonstrating. Our march headed down a street lined with tanks, armored trucks, and military units. The tension was palpable.
Slowly, one member of our numbers stepped out of the march and over to a soldier, extending his hand. The soldier took it and nodded. In succession, one after another after another, protesters broke from the march to shake hands with the soldiers, each hand taken with grace and reciprocity.
The day of the march itself, we rose at the crack of dawn to listen to the speakers at the rally (which included America Ferrera, Gloria Steinem, Janet Mock, Scarlett Johansson, Alicia Keys, Janelle Monae, and Madonna). One of our favorite quotes from the rally came from Cecile Richards, the President of Planned Parenthood:
“One of us can be dismissed, two of us can be ignored, but together we are a movement and we are unstoppable.”
But the celebrities weren’t the stars that day. The overwhelming impact was in the numbers. During the rally, filmmaker Michael Moore asked the crowd who was from out of town, and the hands raised were an overwhelming majority. And diverse, too: people in wheelchairs, children on the shoulders of their parents, Indigenous Americans, trans communities, women well into their sixties and seventies. Among the half a million people there wearing pink hats, carrying emboldened signs, and raising their voices, each and every one held an energy of hope, ferocity, and power. Each of them found the conviction to participate in this historic event, to be a body in a crowd, a voice that was heard. In the words of Gloria Steinem that day,
“Sometimes we must put our bodies where our beliefs are."
Words by the Editors.