A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Robin Osborne: Advocate of rights (women, disability, voting) marched for those who couldn’t

The Women’s March on Washington

When I heard of the gathering of women to march in D.C., I decided to attend because of my advocacy work which includes voting rights, disability rights, women’s rights, LGBT.  I am very concerned how these groups will be affected by policy of the new administration.

My grandmother was born in 1900. She did not have the right to vote.  I walked for my grandmother, mother, daughter and granddaughter — and future greatgrands.  I walked for those who could not walk.
My 75-year-old distant cousin drove down from Oxford, Ohio, to join me. We drove into Virginia to stay with another friend from Kentucky.   We left around 5 a.m. to head to the Metro towards DC. We spent over an hour waiting to get tickets to board.  We met people on from all over the U.S. on the train.    We got into D.C. around 10 a.m., National Guard greeting us as we exited.

They were friendly.  

We followed the crowd through the streets, singing and chanting.  There were people on the overpasses, chanting and holding signs.  When we reached an incline we could see thousands of people behind us and in front of us.  We were stopped and held back for a few hours as we got within a few blocks of the Mall.  

We didn’t know why, but later found it was because there were too many people to continue the march.  

There were families and children, men and women holding signs, wearing pink hats, disabled in wheelchairs, people on crutches, Black Life Matters, LGBT, and many other groups.   

I met someone from Montana Protection & Advocacy while standing in the crowd.  I serve on Protection & Advocacy’s PAIMI board in Kentucky, so that was remarkable.   

It was just amazing to see all of the different groups together as true diversity and inclusion. 

After we got to the mall and saw the White House from a distance we started making our way back to the Metro. It was jam-packed. I was standing. A young African American woman offered me her seat.

Robin and her friends

Every person we came into contact with was kind and nice.  

There was no arrests or problems at this event.  

The stats show 500,000 were there.  

On the ride home there was one agitator standing right next to me and she started saying:  “You should trust your government. Why are you angry?  Why are you even here, this doesn’t affect you.” She tried to say I touched her. “Don’t touch me,” she said. I hadn’t touched her.    

All the women surrounded me, and we all stood together against her hate.
It was exciting to attend this march and to be part of making history.  As we drove back through the Blue Ridge Mountains, we realized there is work still to be done.

Robin Osborne of Crescent Springs is a member of the PAIMI Advisory Council (PAC) because she wanted to facilitate change in the disability community.She has served on other boards and councils for individuals with disabilities. A former business owner, she is an avid family history researcher, gaining membership into the Daughters of the American Revolution in 2001 through the Boone/Bryan line. She is a consumer, a family member, a voter, a mother, a grandmother, and a daughter. I am also involved in an initiative to bring trauma informed care to our communities, through The National Council of Behavioral Health.

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  1. ruth bamberger says:

    A very good review of the Women’s March, Robin. I was there, too, and I was so encouraged by the kindness, good will, and enthusiasm of those who came from all over. Now we need to be very vocal with our representatives in Washington and Frankfort..I hope in the next two years, we can pester the heck out of them!

  2. Patti Senft says:

    It was great to meet you on the Metro ride back from the March, Robin. It was a phenomenal event – a rainbow of humanity. It initially took me 3 hours from my home in Springfield, VA to exit at Smithsonian – and then I fell in with a lovely group of women from DC who took me under their wing as we moved forward, like a human wave. It was so uplifting to know that there were sister marches around our great nation, and around the world. From London, to Berlin, Italy, to the Arctic. I marched for human rights. I appreciate it being called the “Women’s March”, but was also so glad to see the men: Fathers, husbands, brothers, uncles, children…we’re all in this together. Our human rights are at risk – and so I will continue my activism, my marching, and my belief that there is more good than evil in the world. Peace!!

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