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Raising Your Voice: A Post Women’s March Panel

4 weeks ago by

Photos Elena Mudd

We woke up the morning after the Women’s March in DC completely exhausted, but also incredibly moved and emotionally energized from such a historical day of unity. It was a feeling we carried with us to our community event at Le Diplomate, where we joined some of our readers who had traveled far and wide to DC, for a panel conversation with three women working in areas that most need our attention right now.

I sat down for my moderating debut (!!) with Nicole Steele, Claire Lampen, and Erin Allweiss, who work in energy, the media and sustainability respectively, for a conversation about how we can take action now that we’ve marched. With their diverse areas of expertise and their honest point-of-view, we all came to realize that what we are talking about are not political issues, they are human ones, and there are ways to fight the good fight. I hope you come out of this conversation as hopeful and motivated as we did.

podcast cover

Raising Your Voice: A Post Women’s March Panel

Garance Doré’s Pardon My French
Raising Your Voice: A Post Women’s March Panel

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women march pardon my french podcast garance dore photo

women march pardon my french podcast garance dore photo

On how they are feeling right now…
NICOLE: I woke up the day of the inauguration with tears rolling down my face, and it became real. But at the same time, I feel like it was almost the closure of my grief and I was able to finally move on and leverage the fight and be ready for what’s next and understand there is a movement happening. Trump talks about bringing this country together, and he just might, but it might be against him!

ERIN: Seeing this president inaugurated and then going into the march, where it feels like that was such a momentous first step, for all of us to come together, but it is just a first step. I was really impressed that the speakers touched on that yesterday. That while we’re all gathered together, this is just an energizing moment and the next thing is going to be taking action against the attack on women’s rights, the environment, civil rights, LGBT the list, unfortunately, goes on. It was good to energize with everyone and then be here.

On dealing with an administration that doesn’t believe in what they do…
NICOLE: We just have to be working closer with our state and local government and really making sure everyone truly understands that your voice matters! And it matters more the closer you get to your community. So get involved, run for city council, or whatever it might be, because those are people whose voices are heard and really make the impact.

CLAIRE: There are certain benefits to being in new media right now. There’s a lot of mistrust in the mainstream media, and we are that but we’re also not, so I think we’re in an interesting position to get to know people, tell their stories and make them widely known. That’s the most important thing for me right now.

On activism being sexy again…
ERIN: I do feel like activism is in vogue so I’m really excited to see people from two years old who are carrying signs, these little kids, to people who have been working in politics their entire lives, to grandmas and everyone here saying, I’m going to do something and participate in our democracy.

CLAIRE: Feminism was kind of a dirty, stigmatizing word for a long time and carried connotations that had nothing to do with what feminism is, which is just human rights. There is something weird in it being trendy now, but it’s also wonderful to see people understanding that it just means equality, and really pushing for it and saying it proudly.

women march pardon my french podcast garance dore photo

women march pardon my french podcast garance dore photo

 

 

 

 

On what we can do next…

CLAIRE: My coworker, after the election, made a really good point about not continuing to treat millennials as a monolith and engaging in conversation with people who don’t share many of the beliefs that are pretty clearly reflected on our site. The most important thing we’ll be doing going forward is talking to the other side and try to make them understand and we’ll try to understand them better and the best way to do that is through personal storytelling and finding your in.

NICOLE: There’s a lot of ways we can get involved. Support your local nonprofits, monetarily. The giving just started to explode after the election. People want to put their money in places where good causes are going to happen. Money does speak. Now we have to be supporting the nonprofits and other advocacy organizations that are working in this space. We had a woman who did an alternative bridal shower. She brought all of her bridesmaids out and raised money to install of solar panels! It was amazing and they had a wonderful day and that’s impacting our bottom line and then we’re able to bring solar to more homeowners. So just get involved and really start to be active.

ERIN: I’d say two things. One, what we spend our money on sends a very clear message. So supporting brands and individuals you believe in, who you know are doing things in the right way, that’s a great start. Two, it is getting involved. I’d say, find your issue and then supporting people who are running for public office at a local level, be it volunteering with time or giving contributions.

Raising Your Voice: A Post Women’s March Panel

Thoughts from guests..
SOPHIE-MARIE: I think it’s very interesting to consider how this election is changing us. Even Garance Doré, which is a fashion blog, has become more involved in, I won’t say political matters, because they are human matters, but it’s very interesting how it might become, in the next four years, or eight years, maybe, part of our identity to be activists, basically, to be aware that there is something more important than our lives, than fashion, than everything, and that we have to be more united in fighting for what’s right, for our rights and creating a better world for our children. I think that could be the only positive consequence of what’s happening. It’s a wakeup call.

EMILY: I love your suggestion of just choosing the thing you want to focus on and go there. I think that’s a really good start for everyone and maybe you get into other things because of what you’ve chosen and you can collaborate on other issues.

AUDREY: What I am realizing is that a democracy means you can get involved in your government, as a citizen. Even if you don’t run for office, you realize your government belongs to you, your government works for you, so, you call them! You actually call them and tell them what you want!

Raising Your Voice: A Post Women’s March Panel
Raising Your Voice: A Post Women’s March Panel

Other things we discussed…
Solar Champions
Veja
What Makes America Great
AmeriCorps VISTA

A special thank you to Le Diplomate for hosting our panel!

You can learn more about what these amazing women do at GRID Alternatives, No. 29, and Mic!

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31 comments

Add yours
  • Jorge Alexandre Teixeira January, 26 2017, 9:38 / Reply

    Nice job, Girls!!!

  • Thank you for these posts! Please continue to cover these important issues.

  • L R Scott January, 26 2017, 10:08 / Reply

    C’est un travail important mais je ne vois aucune femme de couleur dans le groupe rassemblé. Où sont-elles?

    This is important work but I don’t see any women of color in this group. Where are they?

  • Hi L R Scott,

    The event was RSVP only based. We were happy to see a diverse turnout! This is just a small glimpse into the weekend. Stay tuned for more. x Natalie

  • Kathryn McKinney January, 26 2017, 11:03 / Reply

    Garance, these women are all white!

  • Hi Kathryn! I hear what you’re saying. The event was RSVP based, but we were happy to have a diverse turnout to both the march and the panel discussion – this is just a small glimpse! Hope this helps clarify. x Natalie

  • For a panel and group discussing a march that focused heavily on humanitarian rights and social justice issues, this is lacking the diversity we marched to protect! (admission: I only read the articles as I am a visual learner and abhor listening to podcasts. It’s also not clear from the article how the panel or audience was assembled.)

  • Hi Lauren! We hear you – The event was RSVP based, and we were happy to have such a diverse and inclusive turnout to both the march and the panel discussion! x Natalie

  • Sunny Side January, 26 2017, 11:09 / Reply

    Ah ah ce Donald réveille bien, un vrai zen stick ! Il y a urgence à s’investir et s’engager. Emily ce serait bien de relayer chaque mois une ONG ou autre action afin de la faire connaître comme dans le film génial “Demain”.

  • Sarah McDowell January, 26 2017, 11:19 / Reply

    Right here with you sisters! xx

  • A poster I saw summed it up well, held aloft by a gray-haired woman: “I can’t believe I’m still protesting this F*$%ing shit!”
    It does feel like one step forward, two steps back, and we are in the backward stage right now.

  • Laurence D January, 26 2017, 11:43 / Reply

    Oui, il y a un féminisme fashion, celui de la Women’s march, relayée à Paris. Mais il reste toujours un féminisme ringard en France, celui qui dénonce la nomination de Polanski comme président des Césars et trouve qu’un viol continue d’être un viol même 40 ans après… On n’a pas entendu à ce sujet les icônes mode de la Women’s march parisienne!

  • This again! Why not protest in countries where women’s rights are actually in dire straits then you will see even more change ? I’m all for women getting together but the Women’s March just felt hostile and honestly, a bit hateful, divisive and alienating . I’d like to see more solidarity among people who don’t share the same beliefs but who are able to coexist. That’s real love- Not condoning murder, hate violence and forcing people to believe in what you want them to believe.

  • I agree with you completely.

  • “Condoning murder” Really? Oh, honey…

  • Thank you! I was wondering why the blog hadn’t posted anything about the march. Very relieved see and listen to this post. Good job. Please stay in touch with these most important issues. And how about input from diverse backgrounds and ages?

  • Thanks for doing this Emily and team! Looking forward to keep reading (and listening)..

  • Where was the sign-up for this event? I don’t want to miss the next one! Thanks!

  • Thank you for getting politically active! I understand that you didn’t have control over the RSVPS, but all of the panelists are white! I hope future events reflect the diversity of the women you photograph and interview, and beyond!

  • Hope you see you nice white ladies at the next BLM protest!

  • We’ll be there! Some of us admittedly for the first time, others not. x Natalie

  • I’m sorry but not surprised to see the blog assume all of its readers are of the same opinion, forgetting political subtleties, especially in this recent crazy election. My beef is this- please please stop calling women “girls”! That’s my feminist protest! French women on social media like Ines de la Fressange and Caroline de Maigret do it all the time. So does this blog. Does it bother anyone else? Or should I just roll with it?

  • Hi Carla, we don’t assume everyone shares the same opinions politically. But as stated in the panel conversation, the issues we’re facing are beyond political, they’re human issues. We hope we can share that with our readers.

    – Natalie.

  • Debra Viall January, 26 2017, 8:32 / Reply

    Thank you for bringing real world women issues to a fashion blog!

  • I wish I had know you were going to be there. Le Diplomate is in my neighborhood. I live practically on top of it! Darn.

  • I so appreciate this. THANK YOU. And also, that is a very white room. Can we work toward making these conversations a little more diverse? Nonetheless, THANK YOU!

  • We hear you, Erin! The event was RSVP based, and actually was quite diverse, which we were happy to see! Always working to create and be a part of diverse and inclusive groups. x Natalie

  • Incredibly important and incredibly kick ass.

    Gemma
    http://www.fadedwindmills.com

  • Lori Gordon January, 27 2017, 12:46 / Reply

    This was a terrific event! Thank you to all the smart women who coordinated the experience and led the insightful discussion. I look forward to the next one! And please come to DC more often :)

  • This was a great podcast and I loved to see this kind of content in the website!

    On the Obama “support” on Erin’s instagram though…
    …I just wanted to note that the fact that Obama was all for american citizen rights doesn’t mean that he was the same for human rights in general. The drone bomb programme got to another level during his presidency and I don’t think that it could be overlooked because of his policies inside the US…
    The drone war is one that doesn’t directly affect the US, but you souldn’t overlook it, just as you don’t want the rest of the world to overlook what’s going on with the Trump policies in your country…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-bachman/trust-reality-rather-than_b_6536010.html

    Keep up the good work, inform, get informed and keep fighting!

  • Je suis devenue une vraie fan de Pardon my French ! Si inspirant ! 1000 bravo pour ce joli travail et cette synergie qui donne envie de continuer à se battre dans nos quotidiens respectifs.

    XOXO ;)