One Woman’s Run to D.C. Women’s March Sparks a Domino Effect of Activism

I know I’ve been under the radar for a while. Did you think I ghosted you? I would never do that to you. I’ve just been caught up with the book. You know how it goes. I might have exciting news on that front soon, but I don’t want to jinx it so enough about that.

What I really want to talk to you about is this amazing woman I met. No, I’m not leaving my husband or switching sides or anything like that although that does seem to be going around, and it would be juicy, and if it comes to it, I’m not above creating some drama in my life so I can write a book about it and become a bestseller.

But this post isn’t about any of that. Let me get to the point.

After I attended the march in New York last Saturday, I raced to the T.V. the next morning and flicked on the news looking for reports about the events. I had to know everything. What happened in Washington? Who were all the speakers? What did Gloria say? Basically, after marching in New York, I wanted to attend the one in Washington via the T.V.

But I couldn’t find it. This was the largest march in U.S. history, and yet it was difficult to find coverage. How could that be? The news channels showed the same five pictures of the marches around the country (and around the world), but they showed no clips of anyone on the ground reporting on them or interviewing participants. The media only showed one two-second clip of Gloria Steinem and the same five-second clip of America Ferrera at the podium. Where was the rest of the event? What actually went on in Washington? What the hell did Gloria say?

There had to be something, I thought. It was inconceivable to me that such a historic event would garner such little coverage. I kept flipping through the channels until I landed on AM Joy on MSNBC where she had a woman on I’d never heard of before. The woman wasn’t a public figure or celebrity, but she was a serious activist in the women’s march so I was surprised I hadn’t seen any news coverage of her before.

This 31-year-old runner, Alison Desir, decided to run from New York City to the Women’s March in Washington D.C. to raise tens of thousands of dollars for Planned Parenthood. I slowly backed into a seat on the couch, never taking my eyes off the screen. I was mesmerized by this woman’s moxie, her fierceness. Here was a woman, just a regular person from Harlem, who woke up one morning and said, “You know what? I’m gonna run from here to D.C. and I’m gonna raise $44,000 while I do it, too.”

She could have been anyone, and that’s what struck me.

So many of us felt shock and despair after the election. We didn’t know how exactly to go about getting involved or what we could do to make a change. We felt powerless. What could just one person do after all? But Alison Desir is just one person, and this is what she did.

I was so impressed by her, I felt compelled to somehow meet her. So I contacted her. I arranged an interview to hear the whole story. I knew it would be uplifting and at a time with so many doubts as to the direction of our nation, I thought we could use a little of that. But the story, not just of Alison, but of all the people who came out to support her just kept getting better and better. In the face of all the negative news, I was actually hopeful again about our country and its citizens. Still, the whole time I couldn’t help from wondering, where was the national news coverage? Why wasn’t Alison’s face plastered across every newspaper and magazine cover? Why hadn’t we heard of her before? Might it be sexism? Might it be the very thing the March was designed to protect against?

More people needed to know about her. More people needed to hear this story. So please, if you’re feeling adrift after this election go read the article on Scary Mommy. You’ll feel different afterward.