Marches are a common way for people to gather and express their beliefs as a way to project their voices in the political arena.
Many of UNC Charlotte’s student organization groups make this their mission, including 100 Black Women and Young Americans for Freedom. One activist group, March for Our Lives: UNCC, “serves to bring attention to present gun safety laws, register people to vote, and encourage the youth vote, as well as lobby for recommended gun safety laws.”
The Catholic Campus Ministry group in particular made a trip to D.C. to participate in the March for Life on Jan. 24. The annual rally is intended to peacefully protest both the practice and legality of abortion and is held on the anniversary of Roe V. Wade.
Reports say that the estimated number of marchers was close to 100,000. In addition to its high attendance, this march also made history as being the first March for Life in which the President spoke. Prior to the march, President Trump gave a speech regarding the fight for pro-life.
“I’ve been on a trip to the March for Life before and have always found it to be a good experience,” freshman Drew Garver said. “What makes the March for Life special to me is that it is so peaceful and powerful. When you look around and there is a sea of people in every direction with the same goals in mind, it is reassuring that your values are not going unheard.”
During the same weekend, UNC Charlotte students also attended the Women’s March. The main demonstration was in D.C., but around 200 U.S. cities held sister marches.
At the Charlotte Women’s March, participants gathered to protest legislation and advocate for policies regarding human rights, including women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, reproductive rights and healthcare reform. This march also focused on the local community.
“It was an emotional and powerful day where people came together to support all women of different ages, races and beliefs,” junior Rachel Jeska said about the Charlotte Women’s March. “It was my first time at a women’s march, but it was a welcoming community of support. Everyone there wants equality for women and it was a really special day.”
UNC Charlotte’s students are definitely echoing their voices loud and clear.
“To me, it’s important to attend events and marches like this because it shows that you are willing to stand up for what you believe,” Garver said.