Less-than-ideal weather was not enough to stop people from taking a stand for gender equality this weekend.
Hundreds of people flocked to Nashville’s Public Square with umbrellas and rain boots for the third annual Women’s March Saturday.
“I’m here because I don’t see a ton of reflection of myself with the administration right now,” said Lucy Buchanan, a Belmont sophomore. “I want to let my voice be heard and say that I don’t approve of everything that’s going on.”
Other Belmont students echoed the same sentiment.
“I’m here using my privilege to advocate for women who don’t have the same opportunities,” said freshman Calah Delaney. “There’s no excuse for being stagnant anymore.”
The march was also accompanied by a small group of counter-protesters – but when the Vision asked to interview them, event security advised against it.
Though a part of the national Women’s March movement, Nashville’s event was a stationary rally due to road closures associated with Gov. Bill Lee’s inauguration.
The rally featured live music, plenty of speakers and even a yoga flow. Notable attendees included Nashville Mayor David Briley, Black Lives Matter representatives and the band Delta Rae.
Putting an event like this together is no easy task, as secretary and treasurer of Tennessee’s Women’s March Cassandra Lanello would know.
“With midterm elections and being involved heavily with that, we didn’t get the ample time we would have liked to plan,” Lanello said. “But as soon as that was done we had to start planning for hours upon hours a week and navigating the problems that come up.”
Pulling the final product together would not have been possible without the unified efforts of volunteers.
“There are so many brilliant minds coming together,” she said. “We have so many teams coming together – powering together – for the common ground.”
For volunteer Joyce Neal, involvement in the march feels crucial for our future as a nation.
“I’m a product of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 1968, and I wanted to come out and encourage the younger people,” Neal said. “You all need to keep moving forward because there was a struggle back in the day and I’m worried that the struggle is starting to resurface.”
This article written by Katie Knipper with contributing reporting from Marissa Avnaim and Abigail Bowen. Video by Abigail Bowen and Marissa Avnaim. Photos by Liz Gresser and Katie Knipper.