One thing stood out in the teeming mass of energy exploding at the State Capitol on January 21, 2017 – the active presence of young girls and women. This presence was perhaps the most significant outcome of the gathering. After the November election there were numerous reports of young girls and women suffering a huge emotional toll. They were energized at the vision of the first female president of the country and troubled by the rhetoric and images of the political season. They withdrew inward and gradually made their way back to everyday living over the weeks.
The large gathering of at least 100,000 in Minnesota did something important for them. They experienced strength. power, vision and community. Walking through the crowd one would see different kinds of banners, excited conversations, cheering of speakers, and multiple languages. They saw leaders who looked like them stand out and say “We are here with you. You can dream again.” Top leaders from Lt. Governor Tina Smith, Congresswomen McCollum, Representative Ilhan Omar, Senator Torres Ray, Representative Rena Moran and CAAL executive director, Bo Thao – all energized the gathering and offered a vision of strength in action.