Inspiring thoughts from a student & one of OEC’s own
Personal interactions in a crowd of nearly 470,000 can have a positive and lasting effect, showing that people to their core can be really kind.
These are key takeaways from Portland middle schooler Zoey Buchanan, daughter to Oregon Environmental Council’s Membership and Database Associate Wendy Buchanan.
Zoey recently returned from her visit to Washington, D.C. during one of the biggest marches for women in her lifetime. She not only marched with her friends and thousands of others last month, but also spent time touring the sites – including a meeting with U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-OR, District 1.
“It was very empowering being able to meet Rep. Bonamici and interact with a woman in such a powerful position,” said Zoey. “I learned that even the little things count and one of the little things we can do is call Congress and be involved with our government.”
As for marching in pink hats with nearly a half-million others?
“One of my favorite interactions was with a woman and her husband from Arizona on a shuttle to the train station. She shared stories – she was a marcher too!” said Zoey. “A few days later we saw her hiking at Great Falls.”
Zoey joined friends from the barn where she rides horses. The trip, organized by their horse trainer Judy, included visits to museums and walks around downtown.
“We constantly ran into Oregonians and were happy to see some familiar faces,” said Zoey.
Mom Wendy stayed home in Portland and marched with her mom (Zoey’s Grandma). It made for a powerful cross-continent and multi-generational memory.
“I was proud of being a part of the Portland march and felt very connected to Zoey knowing we were all marching together,” said Wendy.
Beyond participating in this historic event, and touring the elegant Capitol building – the personal connections are what stick for Zoey. From children’s artwork lining the halls leading to the Senate to the warm greetings she shared with strangers, Zoey will remember how kind everybody was to each other.
“It didn’t matter if you were a male, female, or what you looked-liked, people looked out for each other,” said Zoey.
And ultimately, the message we made was huge, but filled with quiet moments of inspiration, according to Zoey.
A lasting thought from an energized, confident and bright young woman.