Recently, I’ve been thinking about how research can be used to break down elitist systems, rather than reinforce them. In academia, the use of academic jargon and the cost of accessing classes or published research is a barrier for folks to looking to learn more about a certain subject, or find data on their own communities. As researchers, we must work to ensure that science remains public, especially during times of political crisis. The right-wing’s appeal to the “white working class” is anti-academic, labeling the university as indoctrinating students with liberal ideas, which they label as an attack on the working class. Thus, it’s time to put theory into practice, work with our communities, and use our privilege/skills to present truths. We have the tools to disprove #AlternativeFacts and must make that work accessible.

Step One: Women’s March

The Women’s March was ridiculously historic in every sense. It was one of the first landmark events of intersectional feminism, it was the largest march following an inauguration in history and it was worldwide! It was incredible to see so many amazing women raising their voices together. And while the march has both haters and some legitimate criticisms; it’s important to remember that this is just the beginning.

As we move forward from the march there are some things we should think about. First, in the midsts of all our pussy hats and clever signs it became clear that for many- I might even say most- this was our first march. Which is great; the more voices the better. But, where have you been? If we all could have said no more a little sooner we might be in a different place. Whatever issue made you march; don’t let your energy stop here.

Which leads me to my next point. If this is your first march, first experience with activism or first time calling yourself a feminist; settle down for a moment. Some women have been fighting these fights for decades and it might be helpful for everyone if we listen. Not to say that people who are just joining us should shut up and march in the back, but at least listen to the elders, the experts, those of us who’ve been here a while. Be humble! Because even marching is a right that we owe to so many who came before.

Lastly, let’s try not to discount anyone’s experience. Yes I mean anyone; women of color, trans women, low class, high class, white women, LGTBQIA and the list goes on. We don’t get to define what it means to be a women for anyone, but ourselves. We do have the opportunity to work together for a cause we clearly all believe in. So we move forward together. We work together. We create change together.

Since even the march, things have gotten pretty grim. So this is just the beginning! We need your voices, your talent, your support because there are so many more marches to come, both fortunately and unfortunately. And I can’t wait to see y’all there!