Maybe all those Miss America contestants actually had it right. I value the battles that the feminist foremothers waged for me. I appreciate my rights to work, to apply for a credit card, and to vote, but I really do want world peace.
The women's movement had its pluses, but it also meant I have spent a lot of time pretending to be a man: not insisting on true work/life balance, playing into hierarchy, being careful not to show emotional reactions to the work I do. Still, at the heart of my femininity is a strong, sometimes debilitating, compassion. So, when I say peace, I don't just mean an end to wars. Sure, in the world I want, there aren't wars, but there also isn't oppression.
I work for the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana. I see pain from victims of crime who are traumatized and angry, from offenders who felt they had no other option but to break the law, and from whole communities disempowered by the current system. I’m fighting to ensure that the system actually helps “delinquent” youth, their communities, and all of us by ensuring public safety.
The closest I've gotten to world peace is making small, deliberate changes, and, most importantly, working toward my own inner peace. We can't change the world in a day, and I certainly can't do it alone. So, for today, I choose to remember that I have an important, small part to play in working toward world peace, and I choose to believe you are out there doing your small part, too. Because if we all do that, I truly think one day I'll get what I want: world peace.
Sarah Covert, 26, lives in New Orleans with her two cats, Peanut and Matrix, and Seth Knudsen, her partner of over ten years. She is the Policy and Media Coordinator for the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, a statewide nonprofit dedicated to to transforming the juvenile justice system into one that builds on the strengths of young people, families, and communities to ensure children are given the greatest opportunities to grow and thrive.