Women’s March 2.0 to take place Sat., featuring conference in addition to public demonstration

This year’s rally is looking to incorporate more workshops and panels that call for Tennesseans to take action

January 21st, 2017 – Thousands of women and men gather in downtown Nashville in tandem with hundreds sister marches around the world following the innaguration of Donald Trump. photo by Blake Dover

This Saturday, the Women’s March 2.0: Power Together TN will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will feature a conference in addition to the public march. The event will take place approximately one year since the nationwide women’s marches that occurred following the 2017 presidential inauguration.

This year’s march will begin with a conference at TSU Avon Williams campus, followed by the march to Public Square at 2 p.m. and a closing rally at Bicentennial Mall. According to Shawn Reilly, a Vanderbilt senior who is on the Women’s March leadership team, the event will help those supporting women’s rights to get involved beyond the rally.     

“Basically, last year, when we planned the rally and march, we had planned for this conference afterward because we had literally thousands and thousands of people, all super excited to get involved. So, we had this conference, and it was very poorly attended,” Reilly said. “That was kind of disheartening for us because we had all this power, right? But we didn’t know exactly how to get them into the room and train folks, and get folks really excited about actually putting in work. So, this year is really about moving from protest to actual politics. Getting folks to write to their legislators, getting folks to run for office, getting folks to do community organizing and make art.”

This year is really about moving from protest to actual politics

In order to empower attendees to do more for women’s rights beyond the march, the conference will have events and workshops focused on ‘artivism,’ faith and spirituality, grassroots organizing, legislative skills and issues and understanding elections. Additionally, there will be youth-specific workshops for high school and college-aged students.

By having a specific area of the conference dedicated to youth, Reilly hopes that younger people will feel more comfortable speaking up.

“Making sure young people have a space and a voice in the conference and the rally because so often, young people don’t have a seat at the table,” Reilly said. “And if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu, as one of my close friends likes to say. I think it’s very true. If you’re not going to speak for yourself, people are going to speak about you and for you. And I don’t think it’s appropriate. We need a number of different identities.”

In order to incorporate as many people as possible in the state-wide Women’s March, there will also be satellite marches across the state of Tennessee for those who cannot travel to Nashville. For more information on the rally and for conference tickets, click here.