A new day is breaking. These are words we are at times hesitant to speak, for night has prevailed for what feels like eons and hope feels risky. But one can feel a fresh energy in the air, a sense of transformation for certain, and perhaps revolution.

Long awaited, it now looms into view. Many deny it. Many detest it. And many fear it. That is because they no longer know how to control it. They do not yet realize that it is beyond their control, that it is no longer theirs to withhold and restrict.

Our “representatives” have done a poor job. These are individuals who grow rich by auctioning off our future to the highest bidder, who have redefined bribery as lobbying, not even bothering to disguise their flim-flam behavior. They do not aspire to truth or honor. They cannot be shamed. They are blind to the fact that their unbridled fury at the potential loss of power has become their death throes.

So many of us have been stigmatized, manipulated, denied opportunity and equality at their hands, that we have come to feel that we are less, even as we struggle to reject that belief.  Existing on the margins of our society, abandoned there like so much garbage, we lost our voices, became mute, having energy only for the challenges we must face each day. Blamed for our inability to gain traction on the road to upward mobility, castigated as the makers of our own misfortune, we are told not to expect support from our community. But can it be called community if support is not provided? Isn’t that the very definition of community?

We reject the labels applied to us, understand that the brush with which we are painted does not paint true, that this bullshit is promoted by an upper class made obscenely wealthy by the work of people for whom they have no regard or concern.

We are awake now. Silence is no longer an option and inaction is anathema. We are speaking out, and, having been joined by like voices, are now a chorus of strength and certainty. Alone we can be ignored. Together we are unstoppable.

We are women, persons of color, Muslims, Jews, the differently-abled. We are the LGBTQ community, the veteran with PTSD, the homeless, the immigrant, the refugee. We are America’s First Nations and the impoverished. We are the sick without healthcare. We are single parents without affordable childcare. We are the elderly, forced to choose between medication and food. We are men and women seeking jobs that pay a living wage. We are all who have been sacrificed in the name of white supremacy, the patriarchy and the rapacious rich.

And our message–achingly simple–is that we belong. America is no more or less your America than it is ours. We will be included. You cannot relegate us to the periphery any longer. Make no mistake, we are leaving the dark corners and stepping into the light. And there we will remain. There is no going back.

It will take time. But. We. Will. Prevail.