The mother-daughter duo need to have their posters ready by Friday night when they board a bus for Washington, D.C. along with Cora's 11-year-old sister, Sydney, her grandmother and cousin.
The group will join thousands of others marching at 10 a.m. Saturday for women's rights. And Cora is one of just 30 individuals selected as a WMW Youth Ambassador for her commitment to encouraging activism among her peers.
"I have never been to Washington, D.C., and I think this is going to be very historic," Cora, 13, said Monday.
This is not the first time that Cora has served as an ambassador, according to Fitzgerald, who urged her daughter to apply for the position. She's also worked in a similar capacity for the March of Dimes, the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago and her school — the Academy for Global Citizenship in Garfield Ridge.
"What I really want to see is how we come together, just the different people from all over," said Cora, who added that other cities will also host satellite marches on Saturday — including a march in Downtown Chicago.
Cora will board a bus in the Loop, but there's also a bus headed to the march in nearby Evergreen Park. This sold out bus departs the Sam's Club parking lot at 6:31 p.m. Friday at 9400 S. Western Ave.
The marches take place the day after the presidential inauguration in Washington. And while women's issues were a topic throughout the election, Fitzgerald said the march would have happened regardless of who was sworn into office.
"It's a rally that's pro-women — in every way that women come," she said.
Cora, the oldest of six siblings, has been active in protests "since she was a baby," Fitzgerald said. This includes marching alongside Chicago teachers during the 2012 strike and for health care reform ahead of the Affordable Care Act.
Locally, Cora and her family also fought a proposed school reorganization plan by Ald. Matt O'Shea (19th) that would have merged a pair of elementary schools in Beverly and shifted other students to ease overcrowding in Mount Greenwood.
As an ambassador, Cora is encouraged to move from activist to organizer. She's promised to speak about the march with classmates and others as well as create a short video explaining why she became involved.
The seventh-grader said the issues that hit home most for her include fighting for equal pay for equal work and demanding attention for women's healthcare issues.
"She has been an advocate and activist since she has been in diapers," Fitzgerald said.
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