McDaniel students plan to attend women's march, hope to inspire change

Posted at 3:40 PM, Jan 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-19 18:37:58-05

Two students at McDaniel College plan to attend the first women's march since 1913, when women paraded through D.C. in an effort to gain the right to vote, on the weekend of Donald Trump's inauguration.

Jasmin Chavez is a sophomore, aspiring to become a Congresswoman, Senator and if possible, President.

Chavez was born in El Salvador, and said if the law changes, she'd love to run for President. Growing up, her mother was strong.

"My dad is the traditional Latin American dad who feels that women should still be cleaning and not going to work, so she always told me No! Go to school, go take those classes, don't listen to him," Chavez said.

Jen Shillingburg had a similar experience in her family.

"She grew up in a family of four sisters and one brother, and uncle Jake got to go to off to college and be educated and the rest of the girls did not," Shillingburg said her mom basically raised her sisters while her grandmother worked.

Shillingburg said once she had a family of her own, she was still relying on herself to get things done. She ran a cattle farm for 20 years.

"That is back-breaking work. I helped my mom build fences when I was a kid," she said.

It was their mothers who inspired them to be considered equal to others, something they say is threatened with the incoming administration.

Both say they have felt the anger and vulnerability sexism causes in daily life.

"At the White House I was writing a brief for one of my executive directors and the supervisor who was looking at it was asking you know who had written the brief and I told him that I did it, and he's like, well this is actually impressive. Actually. Impressive. So that's when I was like okay, well I'm glad you're impressed because this is the work that I can do," Chavez said she felt intimidated every day of her internship but she used it to her advantage.

"I've become stronger from that," she said.

Both say this march is to get a message across.

"I think the message is a reprise of I am woman hear me roar. Like, listen to us. We aren't represented in the government. We're not represented in the media. Women of color are definitely not represented in the government or the media, and so having this all inclusive march is a nice big shout of we are here, we are displeased and you will listen" Sullingburg said.

Both agreed the march's goals are mainly focused on rights to equal pay and reproductive freedom.

"Women fought for their rights years ago but we're still fighting for our rights now," Chavez said.

The march is Saturday. The rally starts at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Independence Avenue and SW Third Street, Washington DC, near the U.S. Capitol. The march starts at 1:15 p.m.

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