I am an artist, jeweler, mother, grandmother, teacher, mentor and lifelong advocate for women and children. I’ve been diagnosed with idiopathic intracranial hypertension, spinal nerve damage, and neuropathic chronic pain. I am currently wheelchair dependent. I have a Tumblr blog, “Walking through fire” named for the sensation the nerve pain causes throughout the legs. We discuss chronic pain, feminism, witchcraft, and generally have fun; join me. At 60, I thought I had seen the causes of feminism, civil rights, LGBTIQ+, and disability rights come a long way since I was an idealistic young woman. Then I was privileged enough to attend both the 1976 and 1980 Democratic National Conventions. I was an activist and advocate for sexual assault and domestic violence victims. I stayed involved for many years until my health made it impossible. I had a personal stake in the feminist movement, the disability movement. I cared deeply about civil rights and LGBTIQ+ rights. I believed we had made progress in all those causes.I thought that my generation had begun to get it “right”. That’s why this election broke my heart. Not because a Republican won, but because hate won. I want to be in Washington this Saturday very badly but it’s not possible. I want to be there to promote love, and tolerance, and hope. Hope that, WE THE PEOPLE, all the people, really will someday be free, equal, safe, and respected. That we may be free to choose our own destiny by controlling our own bodies; may be equal in pay regardless of our gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation; may be safe from sexual assault, as well as locker room talk; and may be respected by the lawmakers we elect to represent us, not the lobbyists.
Grace: I have arthritis problems which prevent me from marching, but I want to be represented at the Disability March in the hope that a large number of participants will help remind those now in power that there are many of us real people who are affected. We deserve to be treated with the respect due to all people. Bio: I have had arthritis for many years and feel that although my inability to walk far or stand for long periods has not diminished my ability to pursue a career. I have raised a family and enjoy them and many activities – just not very physical ones.
Pat: Why I Am Joining The March : I am a senior with disabled kids and I am afraid
Name Jessica Reed
I’m participating in the march for women with disabilities because I am a woman with disabilities which would make it difficult to attend in person. I’m terrified what will happen to the lives of people with disabilities, including myself, my husband, many friends and clients, if Medicaid is turned into block grants or eliminated. Women’s lives depend on the services only available through Medicaid. I need to fight these threats as well as threats to Social Security programs for people with disabilities. There are so many threats to women’s lives, especially women with intersectionality that includes living with disabilities. We need to band together and support each other to fight these threats.
I’m a woman living with multiple disabilities in WI. I work as a counselor serving people with mental health conditions including but not limited to employment and benefits counseling. I live with my husband who has a disability and our herd of cats.
Name: Andrea, Location: Seattle
Bio: 41 year old working mother of 2 boys trying to live life w any energy I can, weekly injections, hope for good things, and worries about what is to come for me
The primary reason I am joining the march is due to my opposition to repealing the affortable care act which affects me and the rest of the disabled community. I now live in fear of the repeal of the preexisting condition and medicare as so many people need it. I feel like our voice doesnt matter. My mental health & substance abuse counseling practice believes in bringing hope to the hopeless, but now Im the hopeless. President elect Trump please consider everyone, not just the .01%. You are know the President of the United States not President of the .01%. The disabled, minoritied, women, & veterans must be heard.
Tamara P. Williams, LPC, MAC, CSAC
Isabella: Why I Am Joining The March : I’m a mentally ill, queer, latino looking, mixed raced, teenage girl. I’m pretty much screwed if this ridiculousness and hatred continues. Nobody should feel unsafe, not just me but anyone.
Holly Perez: Why I Am Joining The March : I am joining to show the youth that we can stand up and stand together against Hatred and discrimination.
- A woman with a disability about to embark on her PhD journey.
- The access I had to mainstream education throughout my childhood, championed by Hillary Clinton, was key to my ability to work my way through a Bachelor’s Degree, a Master’s Degree, and now gaining acceptance to one of the top doctoral programs in my discipline.
However, my fear is that one day discrimination will prevent me from securing a job. Obviously, Trump does not respect the abilities of people like me. He as shown this time and time again. I feel worried that all of my work may be in vein, because Trump will not hold businesses accountable to giving people with disabilities a fear chance of gainful employment. On the other hand, I know that I have the talent and drive to keep fighting, which is why I decided to join the virtual march today. I received my B.S. in Speech Communication from Southern Illinois University in 2014 and my M.A. in Communication Studies from the same university in 2016. I am currently a first-year PhD student at the University of New Mexico in the Communication and Journalism department focuses on Critical Cultural Studies. My research interests include critical communication pedagogy, Whiteness, intersectionality, and ability. Outside of academia, I enjoy participating in local advocacy events. I volunteered and interned at a local Women’s Center in Carbondale IL. for many years, and I am about to become involved with the Lobo Respect Advocacy Center at UNM.
I am one of over ten million Americans whose lives have been needlessly devastated by specific chemicals in building materials, consumer products, fossil fuel emissions, and synthetic biocodes. Our tenuous survival depends on: (1) thoughtful evidence based stewardship of the environment; (2) objective longitudinal chemical vetting and regulaton; (3) transparent reporting of chemical usage; (4) preserving Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare/ACA; and (5) and reinforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Fair Housing Act (as amended).
I also join our sister marchers who vote:
NO to anyone who unleashes divisiveness as a marketing tool or brand;
NO to anyone who seeks power through threats of exclusion or violence;
NO to those who deny gender equity;
NO to those who wish to impose their personal choices on a country founded on the promise of religious freedom;
NO to those who declare a mandate despite losing the popular vote;
NO to nominees selected for their personal biases or wealth rather than relevant professional, practical, or life
NO to those who refuse to allow facts to interfere with their opinions;NO to those who wish to change laws in ways that diminish human rights;
NO to those who refuse due process to citizens at home or detainees at Guantanamo and elsewhere;
NO to those who would despoil our air, soil, or water;
NO to those whose singular focus is profit motive without regard for workers’ health, safety, dignity, and welfare;
NO to those who reject or diminish individuals perceived as “different” from them, whether due to age, country of origin,
gender, physical or mental ability, race, religious faith, sexual orientation, or socio-economic class; and
NO to those who diregard our richest natural resource of all — the will of the people.
I’m 57, disabled since the age of 30. When Trump mocked the disabled reporter it cut me to the core. It shows his lack of empathy towards those who are disabled as well as the lack of character he’s shown throughout the campaign.
I’m a former medical technologist, having worked in hospitals and a community blood center before become disabled with chronic illnesses.
Many of us depend upon opiates to have a sibilance of normalcy in life. We did not choose chronic pain, and we are not addicts.
REMOVE THE CDC FROM OUR DR’s OFFICE. THE DEA FROM OUR PHAMACY.
And return the Hippocratic Oath to our Physician Services.
I’m joining this march because I have sensory issues and I cannot be in a very loud and crowded environment, even though I would love to participate in person. I’m so glad this is an opportunity to stand up for my beliefs and still participate.
I am a happy 15 year old Massachusetts girl, who has a learning disability and anxiety. I don’t let these things hold me back, because I’m strong. I’m “Marching” for my beliefs that, women’s rights are human rights!!!!
Thank you for creating this way of participating in the Women’s March
Barbara G. Rebold
Mental Illness is one of the invisible diseases that cripple many Americans including me. I wish to be included in the Disability March on Washington because I don’t want ACA or any other of the social services poorer and disabled Americans need to live to be repealed. Mental illness stygmatizes people. People don’t always “see” an illness, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t debilitate the disabled one. I can’t be there in body but I am participating in spirit.
- I’m joining the march because I’m scared to death of what will happen to me when the Republicans attack my Medicare and SSDI. I have RSD/CRPS do to a surgeon butchering my foot. The statute of limitations was ended just as a new surgeon found the root of my issues, but then, it was too late. I want to protect the rights of people who are vulnerable, due to race, religion or disability.
- I worked as a teacher in inner city Detroit for 23 years before I became disabled. My heart was broken when I had to leave the classroom and now, I am still disabled, but want to find a new job, but I cannot drive my stick shift car due to disability and don’t have the funds for a new one. If there was funding for job training, a car and car insurance, I would be able to get back in the workforce advocating for people who don’t have the resources to do it themselves.
Ellen Springer: Why I Am Joining The March : I am disabled and a caregiver for a senior gal who’s disabled. I’d like to show my solidarity with all those able bodied women and people who believe that it is not okay to assault women and to take away the rights of women, the disabled and to speak out against the posture V.P. Elect Mike Pence is taking against the Transgender community! Everyone must have access to bathroom facilities and it is outright wrong and against our doctrine of indivisible and with Liberty and Justice for All! Furthermore our great country was founded on the principle of Religious Freedom to worship in what ever manner we see fit for ourselves as individuals and it is dishonorable to our forefathers to insist that only one religious belief should be held above and to the exclusion of all others!
Roni Feldman: Why I Am Joining The March : As a disabled woman, I was horrified by Trump’s mocking a disabled reporter. He should be ashamed and should stop denying what we all saw and instead apologize. I’m also dependent on Social Security and Medicare. I’m terrified that Congress could actually repeal the ACA and privatize Medicare. These are people’s lives you’re playing with.
Linda Minkowski: Why I Am Joining The March : I’m part of too many communities Trump discarded, disparaged and abused to ignore this important march. We must send the message that we are many, we are watching what this administration does and we will hold them accountable.
Crystal Amer: Why I Am Joining The March : I’ve been a human service worker for 20 years, advocating for persons with disabilities across the lifespan and Older Americans. I’ve worked with various cultures and nationalities. When I attended the 2001 inaguration while living in the D.C. Area…I had an anxiety attack. It was a new experience. My husband and me had to leave early because of it. I remember the empty Metro train as we returned to the station near our house…it was the middle of the day and it was odd. It made me feel more isolated in that I couldn’t handle staying at this once in a lifetime event. Along with anxiety, I also struggle with depression and was later diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The pain limits my ability to participate in such large active efforts (I have tried). Being on my feet for long periods on very hard surfaces is painful and exhausting regardless of what I wear. It’s akin to having constant body aches all over, as if I’ve developed a huge amount of lactic acid . It can be so bad that I cry. I have to limit the amount of activity I do, which is hard as I’ve always been a do-er (hence my attendance in 2001). I would go to my local March if I thought my body could handle it. So, I will instead make an effort to perform a short amount of volunteer work instead with a local immigrant religious community that I am trying to establish a connection with. This speaks more about want I want to see in the world that I can do and is still in spirit of the March. As Ganhdi said, ” Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Name: Cheryl Kuehl
Why I Am Joining the Disability March: To help other people.
I want to attend because this is not about Republican and Democrat for me. It is about the need for civility; dignity for all; the rights of all persons; respect for the office of the presidency and the institution of government with all its flaws; understanding of the larger picture, including America’s place in the world; and so much more.
It is my intention to move beyond fear, despair, and shame into peace and meaningful action in my corner of the world.
I am a 45-year-old white woman with short ash blonde/light brown hair. I am wearing a black sweater with white flowers at the top. I am sitting in a restaurant with a wooden background. My nicknames are “Smiley” and “The Bionic Woman.” Use whichever one you like. I’m joining because I’ve been disabled since 14. I severely injured my knees and had a concussion that later caused epilepsy. I nearly died twice from status epilepticus. I am not able to drive after studying to be a reporter. I did community reporting and other jobs, but faced discrimination over seizures. I can’t work now. I’ve had 7 operations on my knees in the past 5 years, including bilateral replacements. I’ve had 20 total. I’m scared I will lose my health benefits and may die under Trump’s Administration. No one understands until they live in another person’s shoes. Even then, I don’t think he or his Cabinet will understand. I live in public housing, where I was attacked twice. I can’t afford to live anywhere else. If I could walk, I’d be with you. Here’s my virtual march. With you all the way! I am a 45-year-old lifelong Bostonian. I graduated from Boston Latin School and went to BU on scholarship. I received degrees in Journalism and Political Science (when both fields were respected). I later received a Masters in Public Affairs (now Administration) From UMass Boston. I worked for several local papers. I worked in government and with the elderly. After being discriminated against in my last 2 jobs for having epilepsy, I became an unpaid disability rights advocate and a freelance writer.
SSStatement: I march because I believe in disability rights and the ability of ALL people to live in a safe, secure world and with comprehensive healthcare.