Statesboro celebrates second annual Women’s March

Women’s March supporters walked the streets of Downtown Statesboro on Sunday. Photo by Matthew Enfinger

Matthew Enfinger

Marchers took to the streets of downtown Statesboro on Jan. 20 to participate in the second annual Women’s March along with many marching groups across the country.

Participants met at the Bulloch County Annex at 2 p.m. and marched to the Statesboro Courthouse lawn for a rally highlighting women’s success, hardships and goals for the future.

The march began with opening remarks from master of ceremonies Jill Johns.

“This is what democracy looks like,” Johns said through a megaphone. “Look around you. This is what democracy looks like and as they said in Los Angeles yesterday, ‘Democracy doesn’t happen automatically. It demands our action.’”

The local women’s march shared the national theme of “Power to the Polls” which encouraged women to run for local offices and allowed voters to register at the rally.

Marchers chanted in unison as they carried homemade signs down North Main street. A musical performance by Chris and Ashlee Mitchell from Pladd Dot Music began as marchers approached the courthouse lawn.

The rally consisted of poets, speakers and performers including fifth grader Rylee Martindale-Rushing and Statesboro’s first lady Adrienne McCollar.

During her speech McCollar announced that she will be running for the school board seat of District four.

Among those in attendance was long time activist and Georgia Southern University Alumni Jan Nordine. Nordine’s involvement in historical American social movements includes marching with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and protesting the Vietnam War.

“I didn’t believe when I was doing this in the early 60’s that I’d still be doing [activism] now,” Nordine said. “I’m 71 now and I guess I’ll go to my grave doing it but I’m bringing up another generation.”

As the last speaker concluded signs and shouts of exclamation remained high. Johns approached the courthouse steps for the event’s closing remarks.

“As we’ve seen this is a very passionate debate that we are all undertaking and it can get heated and uncomfortable and conflict oriented but that is all that the growth is about,” Johns said. “So don’t’ be afraid, don’t shy away and lean into it and let’s continue to have the discussion and the dialogue because our voices matter.”