Don't be afraid to stand up and make a difference Ashleigh hartsfield

The cool breeze felt nice on my face as I walked down the streets of Providence towards the state house alongside my sister, my sister's friend, aunt, and mom. My hands felt sweaty holding the poster walking down the crowded streets I was scared to see how people would react to me. I looked up from the ground and I saw straight ahead a crowd of people who were there for the same purpose as me. As we got closer to the state house I was getting anxious because this was the first time I have ever done something like this.

It was the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration and the rally was just starting, we pushed our way to an open piece of grass and started holding up our signs. Listening to the speakers gave me more of an insight into what the purpose of the protests and rallies were because to be completely honest I was confused looking around at the signs and hearing what the speakers were saying.

Standing next to two of the strongest woman I know made me feel small because I felt as though I was uneducated about the things I was seeing and hearing. After putting piece and piece together I finally realized that the fate of America rested in the hands of a man who can’t even imagine most of the things the women surrounding me and the ones around the country have gone through. The words I heard through the microphone are blurry in my mind. All I remember is how at some points something would be said through the microphone that got the crowd excited or pumped up.

The day was going smoothly and no one was bothering the rally. People kept leaving and moving around so we kept moving forward. As we were getting closer to the front we saw the Trump supporter from earlier but now he was all red and sweaty trying to scream as loud as he could.

I remember him yelling “deport the illegals.” “What you’re doing is wrong you should be standing with our new president not resisting against him.” I admittedly shook it off because this man is not going to change how I think or how I choose to act. Going to the rally gave me many “firsts” such as experiencing a group of people making a difference, experiencing influential speakers in person, and learning more about what happened in the past and how it is creeping its way into the present.

Overall, I learned and would like to pass on that you should always go out and make a difference no matter what you think people are going to say and do. I now know that when it comes to my views I should never worry about what people think. This is because I experienced backlash from my pears for going to that rally and I admittedly shook it off because I knew how much I wanted to go out and make a difference.

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