What These Young Minority Women Have to Say About Pres. Donald Trump's First Term

January 23rd 2017

Danielle DeCourcey

Most of the media attention surrounding last week's protests against President Donald Trump focused on Women's Marches around the world. Although women's rights were a focal point, there were many other issues on people's minds, including, climate change, Black Lives Matter, immigration, and LGBT rights.

Women climbed a bus stop overhang.

"I'm tired of defending my right to be gay, to be black, and to be Native, to be the way I was born to be," said 25-year-old Ray St Claire on top of a bus stop overhang in Los Angeles. "Everyone deserves equality, it's a birthright." 

Ray St Clair.

An estimated 750,000 people attended the Women's March in Los Angeles. ATTN: talked to 3 women of color about the most important issues to them in Trump's first term.

Nayanapriya Bohidar, 28, was born and raised in New Delhi, India, and she's lived in the U.S. for nearly a decade.

Nayanapriya Bohidar

Bohidar said that she's very passionate about the environment.

"I'm particularly upset with the new administration and their outlook on [climate change] and how nobody's talking about it," she said. "I know it's very important to talk about people, and I'm all for women's rights as well, but I'm also hugely for Earth rights."

Bohidar talks about climate change.

Trump said that he would stop payments to the U.N. climate fund and end the U.S. commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement, according to The Guardian. Shortly after Trump's inauguration, mentions of climate change were taken down from the White House website.

On the same day, Trump's administration also premiered its "America First Energy Plan" on the White House site, that lamented the "burdensome regulations on our energy industry," which have been in place for "too long."

"President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule," reads the site.

Kaelyn Sabal-Wilson is a 19 year old college student. She's a part of Layola Marymount University's Sisters in Solidarity, an organization dedicated to unity among black women.

Kaelyn Sabal-Wilson

"We're all about an intersectional approach to feminism," she said. "We're all about trans women, black women, poor women, women of all backgrounds, we're here to support."

She said the most important issues for her going into Trump's administration are women's health and policing.

"Right now we're looking at women's health. We really care about policing and what he means by having a 'law and order administration,'" Sabal-Wilson said. "We as black women know exactly what that means. We care about all of the different issues that affect women, and black women specifically."

Kaelyn Sabal-Wilson and students from Layola Marymount University.

Trump has voiced opposition to abortion, and he has expressed a desire to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding, a health resource for many low-income women, because a small percentage of it's services include abortions. Federal money is already banned from funding abortions. One of Trump's first executive orders was to reinstate the global gag rule, which stops foreign aid from going to non-governmental organizations around the world that provide abortions.

In terms of criminal justice policy, Trump has presented himself as the "law and order candidate," and endorsed a national "stop and frisk policy," a practice where officers stop and search pedestrians without a warrant. The New York Police Department's use of "stop and frisk" was deemed unconstitutional in a New York federal court in 2013 for racial profiling.

Angelica Gutierrez, 25, wore a "Latinos for Black Lives" tee shirt.

"Latinos for Black Lives" shirt.

She said that as an educator she's concerned about her undocumented students and the Department of Education.

"I work in college access and you know just this morning I was at a FAFSA workshop, and trying to get families to understand what might happen to Pell Grants, what might happen to the aid," she said. "That's one of my biggest concerns."

On the campaign trail, Trump proposed a generous income driven repayment plan that would cap monthly payments at 12.5 percent of a borrowers income. However, funding for Pell grants and other types of student aid has not been determined. In addition, Trump's pick for Secretary of Education is controversial. She's been criticized for her support of bringing public money into privately run schools, and she does not support free tuition at public colleges and universities. 

Gutierrez said it's important for minority communities to show solidarity with each other during Trump's administration.

"I grew up in South Central and for me the struggle has always been about black and brown uniting against institutional power," she said.

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