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Moments of Democracy
In the United States of America, we’ve inaugurated a president only 58 times. 58 January days, each filled with pomp and circumstance, unity and contention, finality and initiation. As Americans, we’ve inaugurated only 45 American presidents. 45 heads of state, commanders in chief, leaders of the free world. Living in Washington, D.C. puts one in proximity to the rare American presidential inauguration, so I had a chance to witness the swearing-in of our 45th President.
Thousands and thousands of people descended on the National Mall to bear witness on January 20th. The mood was a mixture of excitement, despair, apprehension, hope–different feelings felt by different Americans witnessing our cherished tradition of the peaceful transition of power.
As we stood and listened to the first presidential address of our new President, it struck me that the work of advocacy is never finished.
Matter-of-factly, I know this. I know we must raise our voices as a collective to tell our leaders what we care about–to tell our leaders we want to see an end to modern-day slavery. But standing in the inaugural crowd in this distinctly American moment, I was filled with renewed resolve to be an advocate.
A few weeks later, I stood and spoke with hundreds of Pennsylvanians who put their name on the line in the fight to end slavery (see photo below). They took a step as advocates to tell our new president and Congress that they must act to end slavery, specifically, that they must act to ensure the End Modern Slavery Initiative has the resources necessary to deal a mortal blow to slavery.
I voted in our presidential election. I witnessed the inauguration of a new president.
And I will continue to petition our government to act in the fight to end modern-day slavery. Will you join me?