Reflecting on The Light Left Behind by the Events of 2017
2017 was a year that began and ended with what felt like an unprecedented display of emotion surfacing in our news cycles, our Facebook feeds, and our conversations.
It was the year that many of us reactivated our long-retired Twitter accounts to keep up with the rapid outpour of changes on the home front, while many of us were just as inspired to turn off the WiFi and join local efforts within our communities to make for a better tomorrow.
Out of darkness comes light, and we’re highlighting some of the good that came from 2017’s most memorable moments that we hope to carry through 2018.
The Women’s March
The Women’s March started in direct response to the current administration’s promise to strip away funding and legislation that impacts women, mothers, and families the most. As the movement gained steam, many people marched in support of all inclusive policies, such as LGBT rights, gender equality, racial equality, worker rights, immigration reform, health care reform, religious freedom, and policies that protect the environment.
It was the largest single-day demonstration of our time and in U.S. history! Most impressively, what began as a march on Washington led to hundreds of satellite marches all across the country and the world. It was certainly a proud day to be an American and true to form, marches are planned on the one year anniversary for 2018 all over the country, too.
The Great American Solar Eclipse
Those living in the U.S. were fortunate enough to reap the benefits of the 2017 solar eclipse, which stretched from Oregon all the way down to Georgia. As people traveled far and wide to follow its path, many gathered with their local communities to watch from their own offices, rooftops, and doorways. It was a much-needed reminder of the good, clean fun that comes from joining together to enjoy what this incredible natural world has to offer.
The next solar eclipse is coming up in February 2018, and if you happen to be visiting Antartica at that time you'll be able to catch a great glimpse of it. If a last-minute trip to the South Pole is not in the cards, rest assured because there will be another total eclipse hitting the U.S. in 2024.
One of the administration’s first moves in office this year was to enact a travel ban stating that refugees from various countries could no longer enter the U.S. Almost immediately, protestors fled to major airports across the country chanting “let them in” and, most famously, “we are all immigrants.”
Word of protesting spread like wildfire through Twitter and other forms of social media, enabling protestors to stand up for what they believe in from Terminal 4 at JFK airport all the way to LAX. In a world of #fakenews and #sponsoredposts, we are thrilled to see social media galvanize so many to show up in solidarity. Look out for more airport protests in 2018 as the Supreme Court decides if the latest travel ban can go into effect.
Despite the seemingly nonstop awful drama coming out of Hollywood these days (more on that later), Wonder Woman certainly gave us something to cheer about this year. In addition to catapulting Gal Gadot into superstardom, Wonder Woman shattered box office records topping the charts as the highest-grossing superhero origin film of all time.
Did we mention it was directed by female powerhouse Patty Jenkins, too? Talk about girl power!
Women Drive In Saudi Arabia
Women in Saudi Arabia were granted the right to drive in a historic decision made early last year. The much-needed decree was also symbolic of the changing times and the region making moves to be more modern.
In even better news, many have hopes that the new ruling will allow women in Saudi Arabia to be more financially independent, as working women will no longer have to spend a sizable chunk of their earnings on getting driven to work.
Out of all the pain that the Harvey Weinstein scandals have caused, the #MeToo movement has provided a viral platform for women to join together and have voices heard — for real this time. Countless men have lost their jobs since the Harvey Weinstein story unfolded, and rightfully so, as a result of women finding the courage to speak out. We're looking forward to more workplace equality and a greater universal understanding of how important it is to have strong policies in place to prevent this kind of misconduct from continuing.
The Royal Engagement
Aside from all the excitement that comes with living vicariously through the royals on a regular day, the 2017 royal engagement proved to be even more monumental with Meghan Markle being the first biracial woman to marry into the family. This is a historic win for society, marking the slow and steady move towards a more inclusive tomorrow. Bravo!
By Molly Borman