United Immigrant Rights March and Rally on January 14, 2017.

MRG’s Reaction to Inauguration Day and Our Work Ahead

 On Friday January 20, 2017 the 45th President of the United States was inaugurated and our country entered into a political era rooted in hate and fear that is trying to silence and divide us. Each of us at MRG Foundation marked this transition by choosing to take action in their own way. Here are some of our reactions and reflections:

Roberta, CJ, and Nina at the Women’s March in Portland.

Roberta Phillip-Robbins– Executive Director
My family participated in the Portland Women’s March because it was important to us to stand up to be counted in the number of supporters in the streets demanding equity for women and protection for women’s rights. My partner and I are working to parent by example and hope our daughter understands it is vital to our democracy she demands her voice be heard.

Stephan Herrera-Capacity Building Director
As I reflect on this political moment and the last week of events, the word “resiliency” comes to mind.  In the face of fear and uncertainty, it’s been so inspiring to witness folks enact and embody practices of resiliency.  Gathering in solidarity to build community, sharing food and stories, protesting, and supporting one another in these times encourages me to rethink my role and place in the movement. Remembering that these practices are ingrained in the historic legacy of social justice gives me hope.

Brooks, Jeannie, and Avalon attend the kid’s march on Saturday, January 20, 2017.

Brooks Nelson- Operations and Finance Director
The day was cold, wet, fun and worth it. The family went down to the kids rally before the Women’s March in downtown Portland. It was great to have a place specifically for young people as a way to start the conversation with Avalon, age 4, about the purpose of the rally and march.

Edith Casterline- Office Manager
On Friday I went to a friend’s birthday party, a celebration of community and love, with presentations by MRG and three other community organizations. On Saturday I went with my family to the Portland Women’s March, where we happily ran into people we know while seeing seas of faces we don’t know but felt kinship with. Together, the events helped keep me out of despair, and gave me energy.

Ranfis Giannettino Villatoro- Grassroots Giving Director
I attended the United for Immigrant Rights March & Rally led by Causa Oregon in Salem. There were approximately 1,000 people who attended during the coldest time of the year. To me it was important to be present due to the anti-immigrant rhetoric and future anti-immigrant initiatives. At this time as a foundation, we need to be resisters, adapters, and change agents with community.

Mary, Alison, Lillian, and John attend the Women’s March in Portland.

Alison Wandschneider- Communications Manager
For me, the lead up to and reflecting on my experience at the Portland Women’s March were just as important as the day itself. I was able to attend with my 70 year old mother-in-law and my almost 6 month old daughter. In the lead up I heard stories about how my mother-in-law protested the Vietnam War in San Francisco and we were able to discuss the complexities of intersectional feminism for different generations. I am dedicated to this being just the beginning of important conversations and actions with friends and family.

Women’s March in Portland on January 20, 2017, which brought 100,000 to speak up for women’s rights.