Voices of the Women's March: 'Everyone Should Be Treated Equally,' Says Dawnia Powers
In a sweeping gesture of unity and equality, a half million people descended on Washington, D.C. Saturday to take part in the Women’s March on Washington.
Among the marchers are Dawnia Powers, 42, and her 8-year-old daughter, Rowan, who are participating in part to make sure that none of their rights are taken away now that the Donald Trump presidency is underway.
“It’s important for me [to be here] because I want her to have rights,” Powers tells PEOPLE in regards to her daughter. “I don’t want any of them taken away. I’m concerned with his education pick. I’m concerned with this bullying culture that he promotes. She’s already bullied at school because she’s kind of a minority in the way she believes and the way she thinks … I want to stick up for the rights of her. The rights of all women.”
Powers says she’s concerned that Trump might potentially turn back the clock on Roe v. Wade, and separation of church and state.
“I don’t want to go back to coat-hanger abortions. I don’t want any type of abortion restrictions,” she said. “I don’t mind religious leaders but I want them to understand the separation of church and state. And I want to ensure that we have that. I’m an atheist … I don’t want to see any kind of religious ideologies imposed on anyone. And with this administration I really feel that would happen.”
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Powers said she plans to stay active once she returns home to conservative-leaning Chattanooga, Tennessee.
“I’m very vocal in a community that is not very liberal,” she says. “So I try to be a good person and lead through kindness and show that not everyone who is an atheist is a bad person. Everybody that is pro-choice is not a bad person. So I try to do everything I can … I’m going to continue to be a good person and do good deeds. We’re helping our community and I want people to see that just.”
Like many at the march, she also has a strong message for Trump.
“Don’t forget that the world is watching. It’s not just Americans. It’s the world,” she says. “And we have a duty to show people in the world that everyone has rights. Everyone should be treated equally no matter their race. No matter their sexual orientation. No matter their religious beliefs. To take away any kind of that is wrong.”