The Accidental Activist

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4 mins read
Mary Madigan, "Wonder Woman and Hermione" (CC BY 2.0)

As a child in the 70s, I was more worried about who I sat by on the bus then if my rights as a woman were being tread upon. I grew up in a middle class military family, went to college, worked hard, bought a home and enjoyed life as it was presented to me. Then 2016 came and suddenly everything I was taught in school and by my parents, was brought into question. Suddenly as a woman, a daughter of immigrants and a Veteran I was scared for my future. 

Respect was out the door and my vote, albeit the popular vote, was not enough to keep racism and sexism out of the highest office in our country. Like so many of you, I was in shock…it took me two days to actually believe it. Sure, some will say those of us were being overdramatic, but when you see what has happened since with women, children, people of color, and immigrants you cannot say our concerns were for naught. The nightmare that we woke up from on November 9th continues every day as we see our values as a country stomped on. I had to do something, so I marched with 60k of you here in San Diego. 

Why ACCIDENTAL? 

I am a different woman today, registering and texting voters, rallying for immigrants and workers, and marching for my bodily rights. This was all unexpected and unintentional. I don’t have the activism experience of the women before me, but I know the women after me can’t take the passive route I have. I am a full time professional. I was raised to take voting seriously. I am not your common community member who has dedicated their lives to work on behalf of others. I “accidentally” came into this role as an activist, and I am determined that this chance event in my life will impact others and that I can make small ripples to affect waves of change. 

How Am I Carrying the Banner As An Activist? 

I sought out local organizations like Women’s March San Diego, League of Women Voters, and Be The Vote. I wanted to empower others with their voices and vote – these organizations provided me the platforms to do so. In addition, each of them has been inroads to other amazing activists and organizations. I am in daily awe of these women and men, I have nowhere near their experience, but I have hope that my passion will assist in the fight. I am continually inspired by WMSD’s #StrongerTogether, it’s the rally call that speaks the loudest to me. Why Blog? I recognize that WMSD is a unique organization in that we are women-led and come together from varied and diverse backgrounds. This can be difficult to navigate especially when so many others in the community are looking towards us for guidance. This blog is to bring it back to the individual, to give voice to why we are here, to remind us of our humanity, and to hopefully guide a few of you out there into your own activism. This doesn’t have to be an accident. Next Month I’ll be back, sharing my experience and others from being on the front lines to the behind-the scenes actions. If you want to know more just let us know at info@womensmarchSD.org.

From the Women’s March San Diego Monthly Newsletter, #StrongerTogether. Re-posted with permission. 


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Women's March San Diego is a nonpartisan political nonprofit organization, established in 2017. We are a women-led movement providing intersectional education and activism on a diverse range of issues as reflected in our Unity Principles.

1 Comment

  1. I feel like many of us are accidental activists. Many of us marched for the first time ever in the Women’s March. We had been asleep at the wheel and now we are woke. We’re grateful for accidental activists like you that are leading the way.

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