We are making a commitment

Rhonda Harman, Viewpoint, Jan. 27, 2017 Newport News Times

Welcome to our Stronger Together March in solidarity with the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. and hundreds of sister marches across the country and six global nations. Many of you know me. My name is Rhonda Harman. I hitchhiked from Portland over 40 years ago to stay and love this community in Newport. I am one of 13 amazing women who have worked hard to build this grass roots coalition march today. We belong to each other. Thank you for coming.  

All are welcome to this march. You are not alone. We are stronger together. We are the majority.  

This is our community, our country, where we pledge to honor and respect all people. We will protect our civil rights. We will protect all vulnerable people. We will protect our Mother Earth that is to be inherited by our children.  

You are not alone. Come as you are, however you are. We are all excited to be here today. This is where we ignite being stronger together. This is where we take action.  

The surreal reality is we are in mourning. We are grieving. Remember, grief is a process through many cycles. Be aware. We will get angry, frustrated and saddened at times. Do not let all this make you sick. Do not let this state of uncertainty make you stay home inactive. You will feel better because we will stick together and help each other through these tough times ahead. Every day, choose to go to your quiet place with your higher power. Empower yourself. Consider a yoga group. Find your mantra. Then, let your emotions fuel your energy to act. You will feel so much better.  

Join one of our groups here today. Contact the Lincoln County Democratic Committee, or National Organization for Women or NOW, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, or PFLAG. Any of these established organizations will help you find your niche in one of many established Lincoln County action teams. There are so many opportunities to serve.   Again, this is a peaceful march; do not let emotions drag you into physical harm. Be very respectful of each other. Be in your own skin, and with each step, contact Mother Earth with your feet. Let us focus our energy and be in the moment with ourselves and each other. When you do get emotional, find your peace. Go to your quiet place in prayer or meditation, develop a mantra. We are one body. We need each other like the foot can’t walk without the leg, and the hand that feeds you cannot do it without the arm.  

We are all here so that we will be there in times of both gratitude and struggles. We are guaranteed life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, equality and justice for all.  

We are making a commitment to each other and our country today to show up, speak up and stand up because we are stronger together.  

Rhonda Harman was one of 13 organizers for the Stronger Together March, held Jan. 21 in Newport. She resides in Newport.

(Editor’s note: Due to technical difficulties during the Jan. 21 Stronger Together March in Newport, not all of those attending were able to hear the opening remarks given by one of the organizers, Rhonda Harman, from the steps of Newport City Hall. Her remarks are printed below.)

Newport News Times, January 21, 2017, A6

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