Donald Trump’s inauguration will be followed by hundreds of rallies around the country, including in downtown Nashville on Saturday. That march, called Power Together TN, is largely led by women and expected to draw thousands.
And for many participants, their political activism began as a backlash to Trump’s election.
Among them is Lisa Donovan who, like many of her female friends, had rarely been involved in politics. Despite a public-facing career as a writer and renowned pastry chef, she never spoke publicly about social issues — even ones she cared deeply about.
“Who wants to be the squeaky wheel, you know?” she said. “I was more interested in shining at the work I was doing than being noticed because I struggled as a single mother or I was the victim of sexual abuse.”
That changed in November. To Donovan, Trump’s success felt dangerous. She worried about comments he made about women on the campaign trail and his promise to defund Planned Parenthood.
“I found myself reminded that there is a whole world out there that doesn’t respect women or women’s health needs or the abuse of women,” she said.
In the weeks following the election, Donovan created a group called Southern Women for Civil Rights. The first meeting drew about 200 people.
Now they’re one of the co-sponsors of Power Together TN. The local march is organized by a conglomeration of social justice groups, many with more political activism experience.
Organizers of these post-inauguration marches around the country largely avoid calling themselves anti-Trump, saying instead they’re advocating for pro-women’s rights. Still, they’re advocating causes that many Trump supporters might not agree with: Speakers at the Nashville rally include an activist defending Planned Parenthood and an undocumented immigrant.
The election has also galvanized first-time activists who support President-elect Trump. WPLN has been talking to some of them who are making their way to Washington, D.C. for the inauguration. Follow @ChasSisk for tweets and dispatches.