Parenting Lesson from Rochester Solidarity Rally #Jan21ROC

As a parent, I’ve struggled to raise caring, compassionate daughters who give back to the community.  We have volunteered together at Give Kids The World Village, and I’ve exposed them to diverse cultures through travel.  Therefore, when I attended the Rochester Solidarity Rally on January 21, 2017, I was touched to know my daughter had joined the Women’s March in Washington DC.

My daughter noted, “behind this smile is solid determination. I love my city, I love my country, we will not rest.”

Rochester, NY has a long tradition of activism and standing up for dignity and equality.  This is the home of Susan B. Anthony who dedicated her entire life to equal rights and voting rights for women, and abolitionist Frederick Douglass published his anti-slavery newspaper The North Star from the banks of the Genesee River.

Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony

Speakers at the January 21 Rochester Solidarity Rally, including Mayor Lovely Warren (pictured below), evoked our city’s past as they urged the support of women’s rights, human rights, and tolerance.

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warrren

The Rochester Solidarity Rally drew between 1,500 – 2,000 people downtown to Washington Square Park in peaceful protest.

Rochester Stronger Together Solidarity Rally Rochester Stronger Together Solidarity Rally

Of course, the Rochester Solidarity Rally was in response to the election and inauguration of President Trump and a chance for citizens to express their desire to raise the level of discourse.  A number of causes and issues were represented in chants and on signs including: no racism, no misogyny, no “locker room talk,” no belittlement or condescension, women’s right to make choices about their own bodies health care, Black Lives Matter, Muslims are not the enemy, a Wall is not the answer, global warming, a clean environment, and the list goes on.

Rochester Solidarity Rally Rochester Solidarity Rally Rochester Solidarity Rally Rochester Solidarity Rally

There were many families in attendance at the Rochester Solidarity Rally, and the parenting lesson is a simple one – “our children are listening.”  The children are listening to the speakers in attendance, they’re listening to what we say to each other, and they are listening to the lessons we try to teach.  Again, as a Dad, my best hope is that I’ve taught my children to be strong, independent, and stand up for themselves.  On January 21, I received evidence the lessons are being heard.

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About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I’m a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.