Women's Picnic in Silver Spring
As you approached the park from afar, there appeared to be a large family gathering. Adults and kids playing games, jump roping, running obstacle courses, a table full of food, pumpkin painting, face painting, and lots and lots of laughter, it could have been just any fall picnic. As you got closer, however, you would realize that of the 60 + individuals there, none of them were men. Not only were there no men, but the women and children present came from all corners of the world.
The Suburban Washington Resettlement Center held its first ever women’s picnic. Fully aware of the many differences amongst the women, from religion to nationality and even age, it was the realization that there is even more shared in common that inspired an attempt to bring everyone together. The picnic was a kick-off event that drew women and their children from a diversity of backgrounds, with the goal of strengthening connections and the feeling of community.
The group of women aim to come together regularly throughout the year. The gatherings will range from informal and fun, like the picnic, to covering specific areas of interest that the women identify as important, such as self-defense and economic empowerment. The women will be reaching out to their peers and hope to create a welcoming and accepting environment for all. For “shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.”
Your vision approaching the park of a family gathering would not have been correct; however, it would also not have been too far from the truth. The picnic was not an established family gathering to reunite, but rather it was a gathering of women, who are now one step closer to being family.