This past weekend, more than 3.3 million people participated in women’s marches across the country, but since their end, some have questioned what the next steps are to continue pushing for change.
One way to continue the momentum, experts said, is through remaining politically active and using social media.
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Christina Greene, professor of African-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin, said people need to hold their elected officials accountable at both the state and federal levels. Communicating with representatives through phone calls and emails from constituents helps accomplish this goal, she said.
Running for office is another step people can take, Greene said.
Some women have already taken this step.
Erin Forrest, executive director of Emerge Wisconsin, said the organization is currently dealing with an increase in the number of women who want to run for public office. Emerge Wisconsin recently accepted the largest class in the history of their program, with it being twice as large as the previous largest class, she said.
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But it doesn’t end there. Forrest said more women are applying each day.
“For some people, running for office will be their next step, for other people it will be getting really involved with their Planned Parenthood, local Democratic Party or their local food bank,” Forrest said. “I think the next step for virtually everyone is getting more involved in their community one way or another.”
Emerge Wisconsin, Forrest said, is one avenue people can take part in after the march to continue advocating for change.
Forrest said the march offered an opportunity for people to hear a variety of diverse voices, as many groups have felt uncomfortable since the election.
The march’s leadership was also diverse, Greene said, which she noted was intentional and deliberate. The participants in the march were diverse as well, as the crowd ranged from young children to senior citizens, she added.
Through the use of Facebook, Greene said the march was able to start as a small event, but quickly blossom into something larger, adding it was “much bigger” than anyone expected it to be.
While the event had a high turnout, Greene said some people may discount the march, since social change is slow, like it was during the Civil Rights Movement.
“You don’t often know where a protest or demonstration, where it’s going to lead,” Greene said. “The people who organized this one had no idea that it was going to blossom the way it did.”