The Young Democrats of Georgia Southern hosted the Statesboro Women’s March last Saturday, October 2nd. The rally, led by their student President Jules Shelly, was a huge success.
The march first gathered in Sweetheart Circle and then walked straight down Main Street to the lawn in front of the Bulloch County Courthouse.
A number of participants dressed up for the event, and still others brought flags, fans, and handmade signs.
Guest speakers Blake Robinson, Jessica Orvis, Kristine Yager-Rushton, Brianne Dollar, Carry Smith, and Micah Smith delivered speeches in support of reproductive rights and abortion justice.
After their speeches, Rose Bishop, a Georgia Southern student, sat on the Courthouse lawn with me and described her experience marching through Statesboro’s streets:
“It was really uplifting, really empowering. The whole thing was well coordinated, you know? It felt energizing.”
Later, Shelly and I spoke about the Women’s March, the Young Democrats of Georgia Southern, and their mission. “We want them to go home and think about what they’re going to do next.”
The route itself was almost 2 miles, but they strived to make it accessible. “We’ve been planning this march for about a month now…going to those lengths is always going to be something we’re willing to do. You can say that making marches ADA accessible is difficult, but it’s not a struggle. It’s really the bare minimum,” Shelly commented.
How? “Of course, we alerted EMS that we would be here today. We assigned two ADA liaisons who held International Symbol of Access signs; they went first in the march and carried waters, juices, and snacks for people who felt faint or had low blood sugar.”
“It was a great turnout today… We definitely had more people than we’d expected. Everyone was really committed to the cause, and everything went smoothly,” Shelly told me.
On the courthouse steps, the team passed out voter registration paperwork.
“Every march, every cause, ends at the ballot box,” Shelly spoke into the megaphone, facing the crowd before her.
In fact, Nolan Wiginton, my partner and closest editor, registered to vote on the spot.
“It was a quick process, pretty easy stuff,” Nolan said. “The whole thing took less than five minutes.”
What’s next with Young Democrats of Georgia Southern? Shelly commented: “Our next steps are voter registration, voter registration, and voter registration. We’re out there every week at the GSU rotunda, getting people registered to vote.”
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