Today, Feminist Campus and Girls Learn International organizers stood in solidarity with the Nigerian community and rallied at the Embassy of Nigeria in Washington, DC with a clear message: #BringBackOurGirls!
The rally was held to put pressure on Nigerian government officials to take action around the kidnapping of over 200 Nigerian school girls. The Campus Team stood in solidarity, offering our support and empathy.
On April 14th, over 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped from the Chibok Government Secondary School in Nigeria by Boko Haram terrorists. The girls were in the middle of taking final exams when they were forced out of their school, onto trucks, and away from their homes – as their school was left to burn to the ground. Some escaped their captors or have since fled the Boko Haram campsite where they are being held, but the majority are still missing. In a recent video, Boko Haram’s leader declared that he was preparing to sell them.
Nigerians are demanding that their government do more to bring them home. There have been massive outcries and protests both in Nigeria and abroad, along with a widespread social media campaign using the hashtags #BringBackOurGirls and #BringBackOurDaughters.
Overall, the rally was a great event charged with the power of connection and community. The organizers of this rally did a great job of putting this huge event together within a matter of days. I commend Omolola Adele-Oso, Molade “Molly” Alawode, and the rest of the wonderful team who sprung to action! There were at least one hundred people there from all walks of life coming together and chanting “Bring Back Our Girls!” and we all felt it. We all meant it.
The lineup of speakers told various stories of why this situation mattered and why it is important that we all rally together. The uniting message was clear: the humanity of someone does not change just because of mileage between us. Women are constantly targeted and afflicted in other people’s wars. These issues matter because we are dealing with human rights and quality of life. These young girls were robbed of their education, future goals, security, autonomy, and dreams.
We stand with the families, citizens, and community of Nigeria. Someone must take action – and immediately – to #BringBackOurGirls.