Imagine your perfect family reunion. Surrounded by people you love, catching up on what’s new, and sharing your joys and passions. Rowdy conversation at the dining room table, disagreements softened by shared love for one another. People of all ages coming together to celebrate the bonds that connect them.
Now imagine this times 5,000. This is how I felt at the Women’s Convention in Detroit hosted by the Women’s March. Here I was with all of the women, men, and non-gendering conforming people who marched together on January 21st, representing 50 states and a diverse range of backgrounds, back together for our first family reunion.
As with many family reunions, our weekend began with a recognition of our ancestors, led by the Native women whose land we were occupying. Over the course of three days, my 5,000 family members and I sang, cried, and supported one another. We cheered for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Rose McGowan, the organizers of the Women’s March, and so many more. We listened intently to plenaries on topics such as intersectionality, resistance organizing, and taking the movement from resistance to action.
Spread out between dozens of breakout sessions, my family and I learned from experts on topics such as reproductive justice, environmental justice, racial justice, inclusivity, and women’s representation in political office. People pushed themselves out of their comfort zones, engaging in difficult conversations. The session on “Confronting White Womanhood” filled up out the door. Twice.
As true of any family reunion, the weekend was not void of disagreement. Conversations over the best path for the future of our country were filled with passionate and diverging opinions. But as with all disagreements between people who love one another, at the end of the day we were always connected by our common goal: making the world a more equal and just place.
The Women’s Convention in Detroit was the most successful family reunion I have attended. My new family and I walked away with actionable steps to meet our goals and a deepened connection with one another. The process will not be fast, or easy, or simple. But after my weekend in Detroit, I know that I will never go at it alone.