Written by Sophie Grosserode
The University of Tennessee will play host to a march in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington on Friday, Jan. 20.
More than 200,000 people have committed to attend the march in Washington D.C on the march’s Facebook page, and “sister marches” are being held in all 50 states and in 32 countries. According to the page, the purpose of the marches is to “send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office.”
The University of Tennessee’s March for Human Rights, sponsored by the Undergraduate Anthropology Association, will gather just an hour after President-elect Trump’s swearing-in ceremony begins. Marchers will meet at 12:30 p.m. outside the Humanities and Social Sciences building, known on campus as the HSS Amphitheater.
The faculty notification about the march stresses that “people of all colors and identities are invited.”
Kendy Altizer, a doctoral candidate in the department of anthropology at UT, is a member of the Knoxville chapter of the Women’s March on Washington. She was a key organizer in UT’s sister march.
“We started to see sister marches pop up, and it really gained traction. When I applied for a permit for this march, there were less than 200. Now there are 660, all over the world,”Altizer said. “Over a million people will be attending these. We needed to have one here.”
The march’s Facebook page has 26 RSVPs, but Altizer says she is expecting up to 400 people. Though students will be attending, Altizer said she has been receiving RSVPs from the greater Knoxville community.
Kate Stamper, a senior at UT, will be one of the students speaking at the march.
“I think it’s important to have this march because a lot of women are not able to travel to DC,” Stamper said. “It gives students who can’t travel a chance to stand against the Trump presidency.”
The official Women’s March on Washington will occur on Saturday, Donald Trump’s first day as United States president. What began as an online event created by a retired attorney in Hawaii is set to be the largest demonstration in protest of the Trump presidency.
Organizations such as Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union are partnered with the march. Celebrities such as Scarlett Johanssen and Katy Perry are expected to attend. Even an Illinois Congressman who is skipping the inauguration will be coming out for the event.
As surprising as the force with which the event spread worldwide may be to some, for Stamper, the reason for marching is simple.
“I want to stand on the right side of history,” she said.
Featured image by Nightryder84 on Wikimedia Commons, obtained using creativecommons.org
Edited by Taylor Owens