The ‘Sisterhood of the Van,’ one year after the Women’s March

The ‘Sisterhood of the Van,’ one year after the Women’s March

Jocelyn Duke treats her memory of that day as a talisman, taking it out when the actual moment feels distant, turning it this way and that in her mind.

“I sit and reflect that I was there, I was part of that,” says Duke, an artist and teaching assistant in Louisville, Ky. “I remind myself how it felt to be part of something that will go down in history as pivotal and powerful.”

Meg Hancock does the same, summoning images of the seemingly endless crowd to push back against bouts of despair in the months since then.

“2017 was an absolutely exhausting year,” says Hancock, a University of Louisville assistant professor of sports administration. “The energy from the march carried me through, made me keep going when I might otherwise have been wrung out.”

This weekend will mark the first anniversary of the Women’s March on Washington — an event that included more than just women and happened in more than just Washington. An estimated 3 million people attended events on every continent of the globe, perhaps the largest single-day protest gathering in history.

The year that followed was a big one for women’s issues: the #MeToo movement, the fight over health insurance and reproductive rights, the surge in female candidates for all levels of office. The year was also a big one for protests — against racism, against climate change denial, against police brutality, in support of immigrants, in support of white power.

But the first of those, the largest and, in many ways, the spark for the rest, was the Women’s March. And on its anniversary one group of 10 women from Louisville, who rented a van and drove 12 hours to the nation’s capital, are looking back on how that journey did and did not change them in the year that followed. READ MORE