The Phillipian | News

Andover Joins the March

A day after the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, millions of women marched around the world in support of equal rights for all.

By Alexandra LeBaron & Rudd Fawcett
Photo: Courtesy of Aya Murata.

Andover Joins the March

A day after the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, millions of women marched around the world in support of equal rights for all.

By Alexandra LeBaron
Photo: Courtesy of Aya Murata.

Nearly 175,000 people flooded the streets of Boston this past Saturday to participate in one of the many Women’s Marches taking place across the nation. Following Trump’s inauguration, the Women’s March on Boston aimed to give a voice to those who felt silenced by the rhetoric in this year’s election.

Across the world, millions of women and allies all marched together in solidarity with marginalized peoples. 164 Andover students signed up to attend Boston Women’s March last weekend, equipped with homemade posters and a passion for human rights.

Emma Slibeck ’20 said, “It was one of the most magical experiences of my life. There were so many people there, and it was really inspiring to see that many people fighting for the same things I believe in, in a time when you kind of felt hopeless, right after Trump’s inauguration. It was phenomenal.”

The day began at 9:45 a.m., when the students boarded a bus headed to Boston, decorating each other’s faces with face paint and talking excitedly about the upcoming event on the way. Upon arriving at their destination, they merged with the crowd and joined the sea of pink in Boston Commons.

Sights and Sounds

Videos courtesy of Aya Murata, Junah Jang, Kim Wegrzyn.
“It was an atmosphere of hope, but at the same time it was taking matters into our own hands...”
Liz Irvin ’17

Liz Irvin ’17 said, “The buses that took us there were parked in the street. So a bunch of us, instead of marching, stood on the seats of the buses and hung ourselves out of the window and shouted at the crowd. We were doing a bunch of chants, and people down in the crowd below started shouting at us, saying, ‘You guys are what makes America great,’ and, ‘Young people are what make America great! You are the future.’ ”

“Everyone was very passionate about being there, fighting for equality on all different fronts. It was an atmosphere of hope, but at the same time it was taking matters into our own hands and advocating for something that we all had a shared belief in,” said Slibeck.

It’s no coincidence that the march was held on Donald Trump’s first day of presidency. The march brought together a nation torn apart by a tumultuous election year, drawing over one million protesters in Washington, D.C., alone. According to the Women’s March on Washington’s official website, “the [march aimed to] send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women's rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.”

Aya Murata, Associate Director of College Counseling and organizer of Andover’s participation in the event, said, “Certain constituencies have been fighting this fight for a very long time. With the election, it galvanized lots of other people to come forward, and to see this as everybody’s issues, rather than particular groups such as people of color or LGBTQ.”

People from all walks of life attended the event, from older couples and veteran protesters to younger kids and babies who marched with their parents.

Miles Kaufman ’19 said, “The amount of little kids there was really great. A lot of older people kept coming up to us and saying it was great we were there, because it shows how in the future, things will move in a different direction. And then to see kids even younger than I am — children — was also really exciting.”

Grace Rademacher ’18 also found the amount of kids who attended to be inspiring. She talked about a conversation a little girl had with her sister, and how it gave her hope for the future of women’s rights.

Courtesy of Georgia Ezell.
Courtesy of Georgia Ezell.

“We were walking down the street, and we see this little girl, who can’t be more than seven-years old, and she’s holding this giant poster, significantly larger than she is. And it says, ‘Jesus Was a Feminist,’ in all capital letters. My sister goes up to her and says, ‘I love your poster! That’s a really cool poster.’ And the little girl looks her straight in the face, with no expression, and says, ‘Yeah, I know.’ That kind of confidence coming from a young girl is really inspiring, because the energy and space at this march allowed her to be this bold,” said Rademacher.

Students’ interactions with other protesters were some of the most unforgettable and valuable parts of the experience for many of the students that attended. Madison Pettaway ’17 talked about her experience with a man she met while marching.

“One of the most interesting things I saw was this man,” said Pettaway. “He was carrying a loaf of bread, and he had it held up as you would a sign. So I asked him, ‘Why are you carrying this loaf of bread?’ And he said, ‘Oh, just to share it with everyone. I got it from this poem that says, ‘Bread is the love between strangers.’ And this goes back to the idea of marches being a community that responds to something. We shared a moment without exchanging names or having a deeper history, but it was still very important.”

Alumni Narratives

We reached out to Andover alumni on Facebook with the following post:

Were you, a current Andover student, faculty member, or alumnae, present at the Women's March on Washington or a sister march elsewhere? The Phillipian would love to hear about your experiences at the march (including photos or videos), and reflections on how or if Andover prompted your interest in activism.

Below are a few of the narratives we received from alumnae who marched around the United States.


Abigail Burman ’12

“I went to the big march in D.C., and it was absolutely overwhelming, people and pink hats in every direction, filling every street. There were so many people (2.5 times the initial estimate) that we ended up taking the inauguration parade route, and the stands that were so empty on the 20th were very full on the 21st. This was the inauguration of a new era of democracy and patriotism, led by women, chanting ‘refugees are welcome here,’ and recognizing the necessity of asking tough questions. Movements can’t survive without hope and community, and we marched them both into existence, from towns of 200 to major cities. I’m so excited to see everyone keep up the organizing at the local level and in the midterms. With the care and dedication that coordinated buses from all across america and scoured the internet for security compliant clear plastic bags we are going to haul forth an America that embraces everyone.”

Courtesy of Abigail Burman.

Jenny Moore Rynne ’82

“Attended the Boston March with my 13-year-old daughter and 26-year-old niece. Emotions ran the gamut, from being excited at the spectacular turnout to being overwhelmed at the enormity of the challenges we face to feeling hopeful as the speakers galvanized the crowd. So thankful we were able to be part of such an historic day!”

Washington D.C.

Amanda Zhu ’13

“I'm class of 2013 and I participated in the women's march in D.C. Here are two photos from that march.

Me with current English teacher Dr. Vidal, who was one of my favorite teachers at Andover, at the post march Andover gathering at Trustee Gary Lee's restaurant. I hadn't realized Dr. Vidal would be at the march or gathering, but it was really exciting and fitting since she was the one who helped me realize that I was a feminist back in English 100 Junior year.

Second photo is me with Congressman Seth Moulton ’97.”

Courtesy of Amanda Zhu.
Courtesy of Amanda Zhu.

Regina DeMeo ’90

“Hello, I graduated from Andover in 1990 and have stayed in touch all these years with many of the women that I had the privilege to live with in Junior House, including Jane Tsai Weaver in CA, Jessica Gonzalez in Chicago, Dr. Allegra Cummings and Carolyn Bernal in NY, as well as Meredith Persily Lamel in MD.  Unfortunately, I had to work Sat morning, but all these other women were at the march-- Jane was with her daughter in Cali, the rest all came to DC & Jess stayed with me.  Many of us were able to meet up after the march at the local Andover event hosted by Gary Lee.  It was a fantastic turnout that included Bobby Edwards.”

Courtesy of Regina DeMeo.“A group shot with Bobby Edwards that includes Jess Gonzalez and Carolyn Bernal.”
Courtesy of Regina DeMeo.“Me with Liz Powell who is also class of 90 & now lives with her husband and kids in VA.”

New York City

Daphne Matalene ’92

“Hi there — Class of ’92 on the march in N.Y.C. Many Andover pals marched as well, but I went with some Wellesley sisters (and Allison Williams). I worked hard for Hillary, and am still heartbroken that she's not our president. But I loved John Palfrey's post-Election address, too—Andover and Wellesley have long traditions of service, and I aim to uphold them as a citizen.”

Courtesy of Regina DeMeo.

If you would like for your experience, photos, videos, etc. to appear in this online exclusive, please email