Last year, the Atlanta March for Social Justice and Women became one of the largest social-justice gatherings in Georgia history. Over 60,000 people — six times the predicted number — showed up to march for civil liberties and human rights.
The march, which was part of a nationwide movement with 673 sister marches across the country, came a day after Trump’s inauguration. His presidency was one of the many reasons Georgians stood up to march.
This Saturday, Jan. 20, is the anniversary of this monumental event. The national Women’s March organization has decided not to march, and Atlanta is following suit. Instead, the 2018 Atlanta march will change courses.
Gerald A. Griggs, organizer of last year’s march and an Atlanta NAACP officer, and Janel Green, co-organizer, are hoping to channel the energy into a rally called Power To the Polls, which will focus on the November midterm elections.
“Dr. King didn’t have multiple national marches. He had one. After that first march, he moved to policy and legislative changes and that is exactly what we are doing,” Griggs said.
“The march was powerful; that moment can never be recreated. But we are pushing from a march to a movement.”
Thousands of people marched for progress last year. The organizers hope to bring those people to the polls to make that progress a reality.
“We chose an event that would be more of a rally to get people to recognize the need for progressives to be more successful in the 2018 midterms,” Green said. “Our focus is to inspire people to run for office and connect with nonprofits and grass-roots organization that are doing meaningful work on social issues.”
Speakers for the event include U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and Doraville council member Stephe Koontz, Georgia’s only transgender elected official.
The rally is this Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at The Bakery at 825 Warner St., Atlanta, Georgia 30310. Check the Facebook event for any updates.