As the moon passes between the sun and earth on Monday, those of us within the line of “totality,” the small segment of the country that will see the moon fully block our closest star, have a rare opportunity. Seizing the moment, the Tennessee Activist Coalition (TAC), the Nashville Peace and Justice Center, New Earth Matters TN, and other partners will be hosting “Love & Unity Under One Sun” in Hadley Park.
For the organizers, the eclipse was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to bring people together during a time when that has been more difficult than usual. “Our members are extremely engaged individuals, and this year has proven to be filled with an exhaustive schedule of protests, rallies, legislative efforts, vigils, etc.,” TAC organizer Kat Hitchcock says. “It has been almost nonstop resistance to hate-filled and unjust policies and rhetoric, both locally and nationally. … We embraced this event as a new day, a new opportunity to set a different and better course for our state, our country, and our people.”
Beginning at 10 a.m., the event will feature two dozen speakers and performers, all presenting a message of inclusion and equality. Dr. Carol Paris of Physicians for a National Healthcare Program and Paul Galloway from the American Muslim Advocacy Center are among those scheduled to speak, while Spanky Fernando’s Afro Latin Juke Joint and Mike Younger top the lineup of performers.
“All of our gifted and amazing speakers and performers are located here in our own backyard,” Hitchcock says. “The diversity of music provided covers Americana, meditative mantras, rock, gospel, hip-hop, Latin. Our speakers are pastors of varying spiritual beliefs and community leaders covering the spectrum of social policy and practices. This event is truly a mixed bag of flavor, color, rhythm. Just like Nashville.”
The event will give Nashvillians an opportunity to leverage the natural phenomenon into a much-needed moment of healing. “This will be our opportunity to let the rest of the country and the world at large know that even in the super-red South, peace, love, justice, and equality are what we stand for,” Hitchcock says. “I hope [attendees] carry that message home and feel proud of who we are. I hope, too, that they feel empowered to stay the course. It will take every single one of us to turn things around. We have miles to go before we sleep.”
For more information, visit tnactivists.com.