Dear Veteran Feminist sisters,
You are the reason I am a feminist. I honor the pioneering work you have done, your continued activism after decades of political ebb and flow, the history you represent, all of the rights I have because of you. I met you at 19 as I studied women's history and activism. It is because of you that I ran out and joined the local NOW chapter and fell in love with feminism. My strength and inspiration come from you. As my young feminist sisters and I became more immersed in the movement we craved connection with our veteran sisters; in some cases it took years to make such relationships work. Our differences in perspective, political issues, life stages, and approaches to activism can make these connections difficult, but ultimately, our commitment to feminism draws us together again and again.
Working alongside feminists of different generations has given me the opportunity to learn from the wisdom of others while also building my confidence in what I have to offer on my own terms. I am fortunate enough to have experienced the best of what intergenerational feminist friendships can offer me, the new veteran, and you, the pioneer - support, admiration, knowledge, fresh perspective, institutional history, a safety net, a sympathetic ear, a better understanding of the movement and our place in it. Let us share burdens, resources, joys, victories. Imagine the thrill of uniting our perspectives to build women's rights. Together, we can demonstrate the power of such partnerships and reveal the potential that is our future as a feminist movement.
Chelsea Del Rio, Bridge Project Committee member