Reflections on the Women’s March

Over the Inauguration Weekend, many Vanderbilt Divinity students and alumni participated in Women’s Marches across the country. We invited participants to reflect theologically on their experience and how it connected to their experience at VDS. If you have photos or reflections from the Women’s March that you’d like to share, send them our way at

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VDS Alumni Jennifer Bailey, Megan Black and Student Brittney Jackson Brown at the Women’s March in Nashville, TN

Lauren McDuffie
“I participated in the Women’s March in Lexington, Kentucky, about an hour from where I serve as the Associate Pastor of a Baptist church in Morehead.  The picture is of my pastor’s daughter. Her shirt says ‘My name means feisty,’ and the full text of her sign says, ‘If you build a wall, our girls will grow up and tear it down.’ As a VDS student I learned that speaking truth to power is about a lot more than what I preach from a pulpit. It’s about where I, as a person with many privileges, am willing to stand.  This weekend, I stood in the streets of Lexington with strangers, neighbors, and friends, including this smart and strong little girl, to say to the powers that be that we will stand in the way of oppressive systems which must be changed.”

Lauren McDuffie, M.Div. ’14
Women’s March on Lexington, KY



Jenaba Waggy (1)“This soldier near the Capitol building was answering a question about where to find the march. ‘You’re in it!’ he said in exasperation.  How often do we think we’re still looking for faith, for action, for God’s response when we’re right in the middle of it? VDS ‘is committed to assisting its community in achieving a critical and reflective understanding of Christian faith and in discerning the implications of that faith for the church, society, and the lives of individuals.’ At that march and in subsequent conversations, I’ve realized that I am part of that commitment in that I have the language and tools for a critical and reflective faith–when someone asks me where to find faith or what to do next, I must not shy away from answering.”

Jenaba D. Waggy, M.Div. student
Women’s March on Washington, D.C.


Lora Andrews“I marched to live out my baptism: resisting evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves. My third year at VDS, I took Religion and Social Movements with Dr. Snarr and consistently critiqued activism for being so urban-centered, wondering what it would look like to implement this work practically in rural Kansas. However, on Saturday, I marched alongside lay people in my church marching for the first time ever, clergy colleagues, and thousands of Kansas strangers in Wichita while wearing a rainbow stole … VDS affirmed God’s call in my life to do this work and gave me the courage to live out my baptism unapologetically, a network to keep me aware of my own privilege and mistakes, and the grace and expectation to keep learning.”

Lora Andrews, MDiv ’15
Women’s March on Wichita, KS




Molly Lasagna


I’ve never seen anything like it. It was really encouraging to be with so many people who took to the streets to show our new president what democracy looks like. The future is black, brown, female, immigrant, Muslim, queer, trans, and beautiful. I am full of joy, hope, anger, and love.

Molly Lasagna,M.Div. student
Women’s March on Washington, D.C.








LillianLammers“Words can hardly capture the spirit and emotion of that day. I participated in the Women’s March on Washington with the acknowledgement that I am a person who is likely to remain personally unaffected by policy changes in the new administration. I marched as a white, straight, cisgender, married, educated, insured, relatively affluent woman. In the days since the election, I have felt the heaviness of knowing that women in those same categories were the deciding factor in allowing fear, selfishness, and intolerance to win the day on November 8th, 2016. Yet, as my VDS days taught me, we are all in this together in all times. I recalled my divinity school studies on the Ubuntu Theology of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, which reminds us of our interconnectedness. As I gathered with family members and marched, I felt a common spirit among the attendees; one that said that women, particularly women of color, immigrant women, poor women, Muslim women, differently-abled women, and women in the LGBTQI community must have the freedom to live their lives free from violence, oppression, poverty, and persecution. The crowd was overwhelming, but unbelievably hospitable and affirming. The intersection of issues represented by the speakers and the marchers present was astounding and inspiring. As I headed back to my home in Nashville, TN, all I could think was, ‘Wow! That was the ultimate pep rally! Now, it¹s time to get to work!'”

Lillian Hallstrand Lammers, M.Div. ’09
Women’s March on Washington, D.C.


VDS Students at the Women’s March in Nashville