At 1:00 on Saturday, while Women’s March events worldwide were having a minute of silence for women’s equality, we had a minute of yelling — a wild rumpus! This was the kick off of the March for Our Future. The youth-led event was held with the support of Women’s March Vermont and highlighted the impact current events and struggles have on youth and how youth can be involved as change agents. What a day it way!
We marched from City Hall to the Statehouse for a rally and speak out. Speakers as young as 6 and no older than 21, spoke to crowd of 4,000. The sun came out and it was glorious. We had performances by A2VT, Muslim Girls Making Change, and an impromptu marching band of 7-9th graders.
This event was the culmination of almost a year of organizing lead by Kiran Waqar, South Burlington High School Senior, and Michelle Mraz (an adult mentor). Joining the coordinating team was Greta Solsaa, age 16, Rutland; Ira Siegel, age 11, Burlington; Hope Petraro, age 16, Montpelier; Alex Rose, age 21, Burlington; and Sophie Freebern, age 8, Richmond. Working with a core group of adult supporters, these young people made the event what it was: an inspiring, uplifting, valuable day that showed people the power of organizing, the need for continued action, the joy of coming together, and the need to allow young people leadership in our movements today. They are not just the leaders of the future — they are today’s leaders.
Here are some of the reflections we’ve received:
- The future is in good hands.
- Thank you all so so much for being who you are. This event inspired me even more to speak out and help make a change in our country. You are all so amazing and I love you.
- My 5yo powerful little girl and I had an amazing day! Thanks for your hard work
- So inspired by the youth leaders and activists today!
- Great March and phenomenal young people who addressed the crowd!!!
- It seemed that folks, groups, and orgs from all over VT were present which I viewed as being super important. Good outreach on this.
- The emcees DID SUCH A GOOD JOB!
- Thank you so much for organizing this, and getting such wonderful speakers.
- The 2018 March for the Future In Montpelier, VT had a great turn out. I heard some of the most eloquent and excellent speeches from Vermont youth. It is encouraging to hear them proclaim their call to action in an intelligible and focused manner.
- Youth know what’s up!!! #M4OFVT
- Thank-you to all the courageous young people who stepped up to speak out, share and inspire us all!
- Protest, joy and creativity with youth and everyone who knows our youth is our future!
Can you help offset the costs of the event?
As the sponsoring organization and fiscal sponsor, the Peace & Justice Center needs a few hundred dollars more for us to break even. If you are able to pitch in any amount, the link to the paypal button is on the front page of the PJC website – just scroll down a little.
You can also send a check to PJC, 60 Lake St, Ste 1C, Burlington, VT 05401 or call us with a cc# (802-863-2345 x8) if you want to avoid the paypal fees.
by Rachel Siegel, PJC Executive Director