A year after the United States had massive participations in National Women’s Marches across the nation, a second invitation is open for women—and men—to make their voices heard in unity.
On Jan. 20, the Women’s March 2.0 is happening in Johnson City. This is the main march for the Tri-Cities area, and others will be held across the country, though not all on the same day. Mid-term elections are approaching, and the march is meant help people join together with similar goals and learn ways to be involved. However, mid-terms are only the first goal—the 2020 election is also a topic for discussion.
“To get involved, wanting to feel like they’re making a difference, to feel engaged, to feel hope—there’s so many reasons that people come out to march,” said Kate Craig, an event organizer. “If you get involved with the community, you make the community what you want it to be. It’s that ongoing effort.”
Participants will meet at 1 p.m. in ETSU’s parking lot 9 near the intersection of State of Franklin Road and University Parkway. The march begins at 1:15 p.m. and will end at Founders Park around 2 p.m., according to the event’s Facebook page. Marchers are encouraged to make signs.
After the march, there will be a rally and drum circle, singing and speakers. Speakers include representatives from national, state and local offices.
Following the rally, marchers have the opportunity to meet with candidates at local restaurants and cafes for discussion about elections. Six or seven candidates will be available for conversation during this time, according to Craig.
Although the event is called a Women’s March, women are not the only participants. Men are encouraged to come and often come in large numbers to the marches, according to Craig. In response to the #MeToo movement, she said it is even more important for men to speak and recognize problems women face.
“It takes both men and women to value each other, to move us all forward,” she said. “So even if it’s a women’s march, it takes both genders to step up and make progress happen.”
During the Jonesborough Women’s March in 2017, around 15,000 people participated. Craig said a similar number is estimated this year based on the number of people who have said they were interested or are attending the event via Facebook.
The march is a peaceful protest, but there is always possibility of counter-protest. Because the expected number of participants is so high, Johnson City Police Department will be on foot during the event and patrolling the surrounding area.
For more information about Saturday’s march, visit the Women’s March 2.0 Tri-Cities TN Rally Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Disability seating will be available.