On Friday, January 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, following an election fraught with deeply contrasted views of the man who promised to, among other things, defund Planned Parenthood, temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States, reduce the $18 trillion national debt, and sign an executive order seeking the death penalty for anyone found guilty of killing a police officer. The following day, over 3 million people responded to these policy items with marches through primary arteries in cities around the world. In Memphis, between 6,000 - 9,000 marchers joined the masses throughout the world as they made their walked in the shadow of enveloping buildings on a sunny Saturday morning down Second Street in downtown Memphis before ending up at the National Civil Rights Museum. Below are some responses from members of the CBU community who took part in the march, and some of the reflections from the day. Quotes have been condensed and edited for formatting purposes.
There was a sense of taking part in something historic, especially when we ended at the Civil Rights Museum. There, in the shadow of the place where hope seemed to die for a lot of people, only to rise again with more resolve and support, I felt more assured about our collective future, and reminded that there was still much work to be done.
Dr. J. Seth Lee