Stepping out to the road of empowerment

Stepping out to the road of empowerment

Layla Wofsy ’19

There has never been a question in my mind about where I stand on key political issues. I am a proud liberal and have always been outspoken about my opinions (at least when I am in the confines of my living room). However, when I talk to my parents, my sister and other family members, I am speaking to an audience who all tend to agree with me. It wasn’t until this 2017 election that I realized there is a world that exists beyond the safety net of my own home and that I should venture out to make a difference.

After the 2017 election, I recognized the importance of sharing my ideas with people who may not share the same views. So this year, I have engaged in conversations with my friends and teachers and even some strangers. Each time I speak out about an issuewhether I am discussing women’s rights, immigration, or economicsI feel a little more empowered.

The Women’s March, marked an important moment in my life, when I realized I had to take a bigger step and become more involved in politics. This march was the perfect opportunity.

Chanting “Women’s rights are human rights,” and uniting with other men and women who displayed similar excitement and hope, made me feel like I was part of something that was making a difference in the world. Being part of this large movement provided me with a strong sense of empowerment.

After participating in the march, I knew I was not  done. I joined Facebook groups, subscribed to newsletters and was ultimately determined to feel empowered again. I decided to  sign up for a program called “Daily Action,”  where each day I receive a text message with a brief description of an issue occurring in our country and I am provided a politician’s phone number that I can contact. This program keeps me informed and helps me have a say in the policies that govern our country.

Along with many other Staples students, on International Women’s Day , I proudly dressed in red and encouraged others to do the same. My activism inspired my younger sister to follow in my footsteps and wear red, too. At first, she didn’t understand what the movement was all about, but that just gave me the opportunity to explain to her the importance of equality for women. Sharing my passion for feminism with my sister made me feel invigorated.

I have also attended meetings and discussions in the community. I went to listen to the “Equalize the Vote CT” panel at the Westport Country Playhouse, that discussed abolishing the Electoral College. Ultimately, I do whatever I can to get involved.

My living room no longer acts as my safety net. I no longer need this comfort because I have found various groups that I can relate to, which empower me to inspire others and create meaningful change.