Women’s March Inspires Formation of “PowerOnDacks Coalition” in Bolton
By Michele DeRossi
Monday, March 13, 2017
The unprecedented marches on January 22 that rallied people throughout the country and the world were, in retrospect, only the beginning of a larger movement. It was “Action Number One” in a set of Ten Actions to be performed in the first 100 Days of the current administration.
The explicitly non-violent movement’s second action took the form of “Next Up Huddles”, community-building meetings convened to identify future steps and to envision ways to continue the marches’ momentum.
On Friday evening, February 10, Bolton residents and mother/daughter duo Kate Van Dyck and Charlotte Caldwell hosted the first Bolton Landing “Next Up Huddle” at the town’s Conservation Club. About 40 men and women of all ages attended the meeting, which attracted people from Saratoga Springs, Brant Lake, Silver Bay, Hague, Bolton and Warrensburg, among other places. When asked what inspired her to host the event, Caldwell said, “My mom and I were both disappointed that we were not able to attend a Women’s March, but we were extremely inspired by the marches that took place around the world. When I saw the “Next Up Huddle” as part 2 of the action campaign, I knew I had to host one.”
Led by Van Dyck and Caldwell, the group, which represented all walks of life, discussed various methods of action, including contacting local and national officials, increasing support for potentially at-risk organizations and maintaining a sense of action as time continues to pass since the Women’s March. Caldwell said, “I felt it was a way to get community members together to talk not about what we are against but what we stand for. I wanted to share our goals and exchange ideas for how we can achieve these goals whether they be local or global, short term or long term. Most importantly, I wanted to take part in helping this moment become a movement-making sure the Women’s March wasn’t just a single, day-long event but a movement that helps motivate people to become involved in their own communities and work towards positive change.” According to the Women’s March website, the Bolton “Huddle” was one of 5,100 Huddles held across 6 continents from Zambia to Bogota to Tokyo and in almost every American state.
Since the Bolton “Huddle”, members of the group have maintained contact through social media, sharing information about local events, similar groups and available resources. Named the PowerOnDacks Coalition, the group promotes a positive, inclusive space in which people can discuss their ideas, empower the community and “come together for social and political change”.
The Women’s March movement continues to grow throughout the country and the world, engaging people in extensive conversations about equality, justice and freedom and what those ideals mean to each of us. The third and current Action in the campaign is “Hear Our Voice”, a collective wave of direct engagement with local officials at Town Halls or congressional meetings. Currently, 255 “Hear Our Voice” events have occurred throughout the country with communities working to educate themselves to effectively bring issues such as refugee and immigration policies, affordable healthcare, gun violence and more to the table.
For more information or to get involved in the Coalition, attend the community meeting or contact Charlotte Caldwell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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