Thanks to Moms Rising‘s invitation, I had the opportunity to be with 1200 women from all over the country from different walks of life in the We Won’t Wait Summit in Washington D.C. For two days we shared stories, discussed alternatives and called for a policy agenda that can “promote economic security and communities that thrive.”

From day one, we heard the experiences of women whose lives have been affected due to racism, poverty, immigration reform, gun violence, lack of access to paid leave, equal pay and many other important matters. The great significance of the We Won’t Wait Summit was that each of us represented many of the issues and struggles that women in America unfortunately have to deal with.

At the end of the first day of the summit, we gathered at Freedom Plaza, where we heard stories and felt the raw emotions of those who had lost loved ones due to gun violence and racism. Their strength to publicly share the deepest sorrows of their hearts was painful, overwhelming, impactful and sad for all of us who were listening.

I lost it after Tamir Rice’s mother bravely shared about her twelve-year-old boy from Cleveland, Ohio who was shot by the police because “he looked like an adult.” Her pain touched my heart as I thought of my own son who also likes to play in the park. Just like Tamir did. And like many children in America do.

We Won't Wait

As I was walking to a corner where I could sit down, I met Rosario, an undocumented immigrant from Venezuela. Our native language brought us together where she felt compelled to share the story of her 30 years of struggles and pain due to her immigration status.

“I came to this country when Reagan was president, for the past thirty years, my family has paid taxes, obeyed the law and lived by fear. Thirty years. Do you know what thirty years are?” she asked me with a strong gaze of her brilliant brown eyes.

As she finished sharing the reasons behind her decision to come to the United States and leave everything that she knew in Caracas, she asked about my immigration status. “Entonces dime ahora de tu situación.” she boldly asked. When I explained to her that I am indeed an immigrant but also an American citizen, she said to me: “so why are you here then?”

I tried to be sensitive but also genuine to my feelings when I told her our paths have crossed that evening in Freedom Plaza because I also couldn’t wait for an immigration reform. I couldn’t wait for gun regulations. I couldn’t wait for social justice. I couldn’t wait like her to live in a country where my children and her children can thrive and be safe.

There was a long silence between us while we heard another person in the podium sharing her experiences about losing a loved one. After a long pause, Rosario firmly said to me: “I hope you vote. Don’t waste that opportunity. You don’t have any idea how many of us wish we could have the opportunity to do the same.”

Of course, I will, Rosario. We can’t afford to wait for a safer and better America. Because we won’t wait.

American flag

Are you registered to vote?

Do it here. It only takes two minutes of your time. As Rosario said to me, we can’t waste that opportunity!

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  1. Gracias por compartir tu conversación con Rosario. A mi también me tocó escuchar testimonios tan fuertes y sufridos. Muy lindo tu recuento de los eventos, fue una experiencia maravillosa. No bajemos los brazos “we won’t wait!!!!

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