Marching Into Action: Take The Lead Strategically Leading The Way Forward

More than 250,000 women marched in Chicago, along with millions of women around the world.

More than 250,000 women marched in Chicago, along with millions of women around the world.

What began as the Women’s March on Washington blossomed last week into the largest protest in U.S. history, one day after the presidential inauguration of President Donald Trump.More than 4.6 million marched for women’s rights as human rights in 642 cities worldwide on every continent on the globe. Take The Lead was a partner in the Washington, D.C. event where more than 500,000 marchers participated.According to Politics USA, University of Connecticut Professor Jeremy Pressman is keeping a running total of crowd estimates across the United States in a Google document, and crowd counts have shifted from 2.9 million as an early estimate, later headed closer to 5 million.[bctt tweet=“More than 4.6 million marched for women’s rights in 642 cities worldwide on every continent #womensmarch” username=“takeleadwomen”]Experts said the crowds in D.C. were three times the size of the crowds for the inauguration a day earlier.“Marcel Altenburg and Keith Still from the Manchester Metropolitan University in Britain took a careful look at photos and videos of the National Mall and surrounding area and estimated there were around 160,000 people right before Trump began speaking. In comparison, there were at least 470,000 people in the same area at around 2 p.m. on Saturday,” according to Slate.With women marching in cities from Nairobi to Nashville, Atlanta to Antarctica and Dallas to Denver, the New York Times captured the global protest in stunning photos.At “Women Rise Up: A Post-March Action Party,” Gloria Feldt, president and co-founder of Take the Lead, offered specific strategies including the 9 Power Tools to employ in order to maintain and build on this unprecedented momentum for women’s leadership.The Leadership Power Tools Feldt created give women immediately usable ways to navigate the world as it is, while leading the changes that need to happen.[bctt tweet=“Gloria Feldt’s Leadership Power Tools give women ways to lead the changes that need to happen #equality” username=“takeleadwomen”]Sponsored by Awakening Women Institute in partnership with See Jane Do, the event at Impact Hub D.C. including screening of a portion of the new film, “50/50: Rethinking the Past, Present, and Future of Women + Power” with filmmaker Tiffany Shlain.Shlain says her film asks the question, “Where are we really on the greater arc of history of women in power and what’s it going to take to get to a 50/50 world, and I’m not just talking about politics and board rooms. I am talking across all parts of society.”Speaking at the D.C. event, Kaitlin Rattigan, a Leadership Ambassador for Take The Lead and non-profit director said, “We created ‘Women Rise Up’ because we want to provide a platform for women to use these next four years to embrace their own power and leadership; for women to leverage what has happened and use it to fuel their ambitions.’ Women Rise Up’ is a chance for women at the Women’s March on Washington to take tangible next steps and to collaborate and strategize collective action across the country.“Take The Lead’s Rhea Beddoe kicked off the event, with Leadership ambassadors Tabby Biddle and Kimberly D’Urso also addressing the group.Speaking with the marchers attending was See Jane Do’s Elisa Parker,  Maggie Castrey and other special guests including Jennifer Siebel Newsom of the Representation Project; Erin Vilardi of Vote Run Lead; Jodie Evans of  Code Pink; Osprey Orielle Lake of  WECAN; Marianne Schnall of Feminist.com; Ashlee Miller of Girls for a Change; Laura Liswood, Secretary General, Council of Women World Leaders and Former Managing Director & Senior Advisor, Goldman Sachs;  Lisa Kaess, Feminomics; Aimee Williams, Exec. Director and Co-Founder of Global Girl Media; and Amanda Mortimer, Director of Production at The Representation Project who introduced the #MarchingForward campaign.Going forward in the wake of the marches across the country that included speakers such as Gloria Steinem, Ashley Judd and others addressing issues of healthcare, climate change, reproductive rights, LGBT rights, immigration, fake news, education, poverty, violence against women, sexual assault, violence against trans persons and more, there appears to be few regrets, backlash or even clean-up needed.According to The Hill, “No arrests were made during the Women’s March on Washington Saturday, according to a top official in the capital. D.C. Homeland Security Director Christopher Geldart told NBC news that despite the massive crowds, no arrests were made.““Connect, protect, activate” was the chanted theme of the Chicago Women’s March that drew 250,000 men, women and children, the third largest crowd count after Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, both cities attracting 500,000 marchers each. Chicago’s march was larger than the crowd in Denver, estimated at 200,000.“A chorus of thousands cannot be ignored; make them hear us,” said Jessica Scheller, co-chair of the Women’s March on Chicago. “We are never giving up, we are never going away. I am my sister’s keeper,” she told the crowd.“The question going forward is whether the marches are simply a cathartic moment for people upset over Trump’s election victory or a more enduring opposition movement,” writes Maeve Reston in CNN.