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Flint Hill’s Presence at Recent Marches

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March for Science.

March for Science.

Photo Credit: Neva Sharma

Photo Credit: Neva Sharma

March for Science.

By Libby Szymczak, Staff Writer

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Ever since the Presidential Inauguration in January, several marches and rallies have been held across the world. In January 2017, the Women’s March on Washington took place with the intention of highlighting women’s inequality in society and the important roles women play in the workplace. The March for Science took place on April 22, 2017 with a bold mission and purpose: “We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policymakers to enact evidence based policies in the public interest.”

Both marches were attended by Flint Hill students who wanted to be involved in bringing attention to the issues that matter most to them.

“For everyday people like us, it seems like our voices are never heard and that our voices mean nothing,” said junior Neha Sharma, “but marches really show that every voice does mean something, because none of it would be possible without every person’s participation.”

The March for Science and the Women’s March began on the National Mall, directly in front of the White House, and ended at the base of the Capitol. The organizers of the two events deliberately chose the National Mall as the starting place with the idea of physically bringing the issues that were prompting the marches to the front gates of the White House and to the Capitol, where the laws of the land are created. This enabled those who hold power in the government to hear the voices of those advocating for change, particularly in the way women are treated and science’s role in human advancement.

CNN reported that, although the March for Science organizers intended the event to be “nonpolitical” and “nonpartisan,” some participants had a different idea, wanting their voice to be heard by those deciding the 2018 federal budget. The budget, which will be shared Friday, April 29, does not leave pro-science advocates much time to convince congressmen that science research and programs are vital.

Both marches credit themselves with allowing anyone to participate, which most likely led to their high turnout rates. The numbers varied between the two marches: The Washington Post reported a crowd of 500,000 at the Women’s March and 40,000 at the D.C. March for Science. However, both drew passionate crowds. The signs brought to the events often illustrated the uncertainties that those holding them had towards the future fate of women’s rights and science funding. The Women’s March was filled with signs referring to the 2005 recording that was leaked during the 2016 presidential campaign by The Washington Post of the forty-fifth President and the well-known television and radio host Billy Bush partaking in “locker room talk.” For many women, the leaked recording is only one of many instances representing the mistreatment of women in society, and also serves as a prime example of why certain legislations need to become sexually neutral.

The signs, posters, banners, and flags seen at The March for Science varied between references to the upcoming governmental funding deadline to reminders of what the field of science has accomplished thus far due to the support of the government.

Despite different backgrounds, scientists, environmentalists, doctors, and Flint Hill students are all equally passionate about how important science is in their lives.

“It was super fun and cool to see so many people getting active around this cause, which often doesn’t receive the attention it deserve,” says junior Patrick Lovelace. “It was cool because they were all there despite the bad weather, and everyone was so positive and driven to make change. It was really cool and fun and inspiring.”

Both marches offered those who were not able to attend a virtual march option, as well as information about other marches going on the same day in other cities around the world. The March for Science’s Website states that 500 communities around the world participated in marches near them, further bringing attention to the importance of science on an international level. Due to the openness and inclusivity of both events, Flint Hill students were able to participate, which meant that, in some form or another, they were able to contribute towards building a future world that includes both science and equal women’s rights.

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Flint Hill’s Presence at Recent Marches