People marched on 1/21. These are their stories: Nikie Guccione

As a green card holder, I’m a legal resident but not allowed to vote. Marching was a way to make my voice heard and participate in the political process.

As a green card holder, I’m a legal resident but not allowed to vote. Marching was a way to make my voice heard and participate in the political process. I went to Washington, DC with a group of great friends and their daughters. The youngest was my friend’s daughter Lizzie, who is 12, and my friend Trish was the oldest at 56. We had two in their teens, one in her 20’s, one in her 30’s, three in our 40’s, and one in her 50’s. Five decades of pissed off women.

The March made me feel energized and connected, which I needed after an election that left me numb and depressed. The whole experience made me feel hopeful and empowered, and I was very touched when an old man on the way to the starting point of the March who cheered for us and thanked us for doing this. “We need you,” he said.

The signs were amazing. I was so impressed with the creativity of people. The one that stood out the most to me was an embroidery sampler that said “I’m so angry I made this just so I could stab something 3000 times”. Another said
“We shall overcomb”.

Now that I’m back home, I have started to make a monthly donation to Planned Parenthood. I’m also sending postcards to the White House and calling my representatives.

©2017 Nadine Robbins. Unauthorized use of the images and copy from these stories is prohibited.

People marched on 1/21. These are their stories: Chantal Collins

I used Planned Parenthood’s services for 6 years until I was working and able to afford to see a gynecologist through my insurance.

I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s in a family with a strong moral compass. We boycotted grapes, wore black armbands to school when Nixon bombed Cambodia, collected signatures to pass the ERA, and were taught to treat others equally and with compassion.

When I was 16, I fell in love with a boy who I knew I would sleep with (I did) and eventually marry (I didn’t). We did have a health class which included sex education and that was the only exposure I had to types of birth control. My Irish born mother was a fervent supporter of equal rights for women. But she wasn’t the kind of mom who was open to discussing sexuality or birth control with her teenage daughter. And speaking with my pediatrician was out of the question. Luckily, there was a place to go to for information, counseling and birth control and that was Planned Parenthood.

I can still remember looking up their number in the phone book and making the call to get an appointment. They asked me a few questions and I was scheduled for that Saturday. I recall being so embarrassed walking around Mt. Kisco looking for the address; fearful that I would be spotted by someone or that there might be protesters outside. Neither occurred.

The appointment itself was eye opening. I was spoken to with dignity and respect. The nurses were kind, the doctor kinder. She took the time to explain everything and never once made me feel ashamed. I was able to afford the appointments and a prescription for the pill, which they provided so I didn’t have to go to a pharmacy. I used Planned Parenthood’s services for 6 years until I was working and able to afford to see a gynecologist through my insurance. I have made donations sporadically through the years. It is now, at the age of 53, that I can so clearly see the contribution they make to so many women’s lives. Planned Parenthood does not judge and does not preach, they provide.

The Women’s March on Washington solidified all of what I was taught by my mother and other strong women. Listening to the men and women speak that day and watching the faces of the people around me gave me back my strength and a sense of defiance. I watched my stepdaughter and other young women feel the groundswell of unity with others for women’s rights.

We will not go backward, we will not back down, we will fight what is wrong. We will resist.

©2017 Nadine Robbins. Unauthorized use of the images and copy from these stories is prohibited.

People marched on 1/21. These are their stories: Kimberly Hunter

We marched to demand equality and safety for people of all races, religions, beliefs and genders.

I woke up the morning after the election and was devastated at the results. I could not believe our nation voted him in. My anger lasted for a while and then the fear set in. I was fearful for my children, their future and the country they would be left with after this man’s term in office. I did not know what I was going to do but knew I had to do something. I started writing to my local politicians expressing my concerns and thoughts. After I had written some letters, I still was not satisfied. It did not feel as if it was enough and I did not feel any better. I felt alone even though I knew millions felt as I did. I wanted to be with these people. It was then I first heard about the March and felt my prayers had been answered.

I knew I was going to march and I would be counted. I knew people would see our faces and we would not be faceless individuals on a piece of paper or a signature line in an e-mail. I needed to be with those who shared my same beliefs, my fears, my anger and my desire to have my voice heard.

My husband and I drove up to Albany, NY to the March. We were marching together for the first time and would be doing so for our children and their future. We marched for our LGBTQ child, we marched for our two daughters and our son. We marched because women deserve a choice, because affordable healthcare should NOT be a luxury, we marched for equality, we marched because the freedom to decide what to do with one’s body is the most basic human right. We marched to demand equality and safety for people of all races, religions, beliefs and genders. We marched for JUSTICE and the human race.

I marched because I am a WOMAN, mother, nurse, wife, friend and a citizen of this country and it’s my right to do so. I marched because Planned Parenthood was there for me when I had nothing. They provided me with health care, education and support when I needed it most.

The March was an experience I cannot put into words. I felt empowered, embraced and hopeful. Our voices were loud and proud and diverse. We all came together and embraced each other’s beliefs and positions. I left the March feeling hopeful and ready to march on.

©2017 Nadine Robbins. Unauthorized use of the images and copy from these stories is prohibited.

People marched on 1/21. These are their stories: Norm Magnusson

That one tiny click, that seemingly inconsequential drop in the bucket of background noise, when joined by 20 other tiny drops in the same bucket? IT WAS LOUD! It was REALLY something!

When I was in high school, we had a teacher, Mr. Connell. Everyone called him simply: “Mister”. It was widely rumored that he taught for $1 a year because he was independently wealthy. We all knew which house was his in our tiny neighborhood: a stately stone place with perfect hedges and an old Volkswagen station wagon in the pea-gravel driveway. Mister taught physics to seniors who were on a science track and I wanted to be a psychiatrist, so that was me. Anyway, he used to do this thing he called “the cricket cheer.” It was amazing. You can try right now, as you read these words, if you want. (In fact, please do.) Put the fingernails of your thumb and pinky finger together. Now rub one fingernail down over the other so that it makes a tiny ‘clicking’ noise. Then rub it back up. Then back down and so on and so on. You hear the tiny noise, right? It’s not so much, really. Just a teeny tiny click. Well, every time Mister made us do the cricket cheer, he would start out by having just one person do it: “MISTER Magnusson!!! Cricket cheer please!” (He had an enormous joy for living, he did.) And after the lucky soloist performed, Mister would call out (I don’t think he ever yelled, merely spoke with increased exuberance.) for everyone to start. Well, it was always so impressive. That one tiny click, that seemingly inconsequential drop in the bucket of background noise, when joined by 20 other tiny drops in the same bucket? IT WAS LOUD! It was REALLY something! Yesterday, I was interviewed by someone asking me why I had wanted to march in the Women’s March a couple weeks ago. And I thought about the cricket cheer. And how powerful tiny voices can be when they’re working together. And how, just maybe, they can inspire other tiny voices to join in, to come in from the sidelines, to slide off the fence and start participating. And, I guess, even if I didn’t quite understand it all at the time, in my soul I know that’s the reason I marched. And will march again. Because the tiny voices, together, can make a big difference.

©2017 Nadine Robbins. Unauthorized use of the images and copy from these stories is prohibited.