Catrina Otonoga, Case Western Reserve University
From the first moments of meeting the LI attendees at the hotel, until the last drinks of the day, there was a flurry of hugs being passed around the conference. Old acquaintances and friends from home schools and across the country were meeting up sharing stories, and bonding – like partners, and sisters. Although a few men, who offered great and much needed perspective throughout the day, joined us, the feeling of sisterhood was palpable.
Women began comparing their chapters to their experiences in a sorority, and were concerned with how to create a lasting legacy, recruitment of new 1L “pledge classes”, and making sure the work they had begun was continued long after their journey though the law school. The vibrancy and energy of being surrounded by so many people, with so many viewpoints and ideas was overwhelming. But, underneath each of those ideas, was the knowledge that here in front of you was your ally, your sister, your kindred spirit that you could turn to throughout not only the LI and law school, but far into the future.
But, don’t let all this talk of sisterhood fool you. Each of the women was passionate about integrating more and more voices to the movement – men, women of color, people who identify as LGBTQ, people with lived experiences in poverty, immigration… the list went on and on. RJ is far more than just a women’s movement or a women’s issue, and the people of LSRJ recognize that more and more each time we convene with each other. The feeling of sisterhood, is not just that shared between women, but a bond shared between people who are so passionate, so invigorated by working toward shared goals that there is nothing you can do except smile, hug and know that the legacy will be there, building upon itself, riding waves of ups and downs, for years.