“They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas — but not today.” So said Alejandra Castillo, head of YWCA USA, from the stage of Power to the Polls, this year’s national Women’s March event, held on Sunday afternoon in Sin City. It was a fitting declaration for a day of taking stock and reinvigoration, meant to drop like a heavy stone into the waters of civic action and send ripples back out as far as they can travel.
Because unlike last year’s massive, anger-fueled march through the streets of Washington D.C., this was a rally, meant to be the official kickoff toward a decidedly more focused goal: to get one million women — the same number that marched through the capital in February 2017 — registered to vote, with a special eye on midterm elections. And volunteers got to work as soon as the doors to the Sam Boyd Stadium opened, roving with clipboards and getting people registered at designated tables.
Many speakers of the day — national activists like political commentator, writer, and professor Melissa Harris-Perry and Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood, a smattering of politicians, Las Vegas shooting survivor turned gun-safety activist Christine Caria, and even superstar Cher — stayed powerfully on message, but there was no shortage of party vibes in the crowd of about 20,000. Women of all ages and races, and plenty of supportive men, were out in force in their dusted-off pink pussy hats, holding cleverly updated signs.
Most seemed to come from Nevada or California, though some traveled from as far as New York. All were laser-focused on the speakers and the vibes of empowerment, screaming and whooping and cheering in all the right places.
Above, a glimpse at some of the women who brought their best game to the stadium.