We are a country of immigrants and descendants of immigrants. Me, included. In the mid 1800’s, people of my ethnic origin faced NINA signs, “No Irish Need Apply,” when they immigrated to the United States, hoping to build a future for themselves and their families. By the time I was born, I faced none of that. But thanks to my (largely) Irish parents, thousands of students across all ethnicities and all socioeconomic backgrounds, received an education that helped prepare them for their future, for the future of their families.
My 91-yeaer-old mother is joining me on the Douglas to Saugatuck Women’s March on Sunday at 1:00. Formerly the public information director for the East Lansing Public School system, she helped pass the millage needed to fund the education for the community’s students for the eighteen years she was in that position.
My father, although deceased, will be with us too. A professor at Michigan State University, he focused on obtaining funding for postsecondary education—community colleges and schools of technology as well as colleges and universities. He believed every child deserved a chance to create a better life. Every child—regardless of color or wealth or status.
Not surprisingly, I believe in inclusion, and was fortunate to be a senior executive for a Fortune 500 company that emphasized “sustainable profits”—long term success that required tapping the creativity and mindsets of a diverse, global population of employees. The company was, and is, successful—a leader in its field. As a result, I was able to retire at an early age, to recreate myself as a writer, to focus my efforts on ensuring everyone . . . everyone . . . has access to clean, safe drinking water. Particularly everyone living in the Great Lakes region.
I am marching because I believe in the fundamental principles of our democracy--to include the separation of three distinct branches of government. I am marching because I believe in negotiated compromises that allow us to bridge our differences and build better futures for all of us. I am marching because I believe in a free press that keeps us informed, as citizens in a democracy. I am marching because I want diversity to make our country’s decisions richer, more sustainable, more successful. I am marching because all citizens, regardless of color or background, should be allowed to participate in the decisions of this country, should be allowed to march, must be allowed to vote!
With my husband on one arm, my mother on another, and my father with us in spirit, I am marching because I can.
That is a right worth marching for!
Come join us at Beery Field (the baseball field across from the Everyday People Café) in Douglas at 1:00. Or join a march near you.
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