Hundreds of Washtenaw County residents will make their way to our nation's capital this weekend to patrticipate in the national Women's March for human rights. Even more will march and rally here at home.
The Psychologists for Social Justice organization at Eastern Michigan University will transport 55 students, faculty members and other local residents by charter bus to Washington D.C.
Clinical psychology graduate student Lily Ellis will be among them. They want to make sure human rights are not violated by President-elect Donald Trump's administration.
"Washtenaw County is not a place immune from oppression. There are a lot of local issues that are important to us that will be affected by national policy and people with disabilities are already afraid of the ACA getting repealed."
Lily refers to the Affordable Care Act. Over 26,000 residents in Washtenaw County don't have health insurance. But it's not just about the possible repeal of "Obamacare." Carol Anderson from Ann Arbor will also make the trip to D.C. by car with her partner and friends. She says Trump needs to stop with the racism and discrimination.
"It shows the world that there are people in the United States of America who do not agree with this way of behaving in the world. That we don't agree with the types of words that he chooses to use, he belittles people, the bully that he is. And I think it's a reassurance force for the world that is watching and saying that there are people in the United States who are not idiots."
Washington D.C. won't be the only one that will host a march this Saturday. there are more than 600-satellite marches planned around the country and nearly as many globally. 15- are in Michigan, including in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. .
"For students, it's not really feasible to travel to D.C., so I think it's really exciting for them to have a local opportunity to get involved…that's what we planned."
Michelle Deatrick is lead organizer of the latter one.
"So we are going to be gathering at 2PM in front of the federal building, also known as the Post Office in downtown Ann Arbor and after we gather we will be marching on a really nice route through Ann Arbor up to the University of Michigan. And then gathering in the Diag and then around three or whenever everyone arrives, we will be having a rally with some great speakers."
Claire Cepuran is the co-founder of Progressives. She says her group got involved because young people are experiencing a new civil rights movement.
"We are flooded with news and imagery of the violence and the discrimination that's happening around our country, more so then we were before. And I think politics are becoming more polarized as well than they have been in a long time and I think those things really combined make people want to get involved."
Robert Joseph is also the co-founder of Progressives. He encourages men to take action this Saturday.
"Everyone is welcome to come show solidarity and participate, and, once again, I think it's really important that everyone does come to show support because women's rights are human rights"
Michelle added that their movement won't end this weekend.
"I think it's important for people to feel a sense of hope and solidarity going forward. We are going to be having sign-ups for our groups, so that people who want to continue this work will have the opportunity to do that and get plugged into positive ways of moving forward."
Below, you will find information about the events mentioned in this story plus other human rights activities that will also take place in Michigan this Saturday.
Lansing: 1-3 PM, rally on the Capitol steps. This rally will be followed by the Women Organize Michigan Summit at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Lansing. https://www.marchonlansing.org/
Ypsilanti: The March for Love, Resilience and Action begins at Noon at Bona Sera Café, 200 West Michigan Avenue. The procession route will pass by and honor Ypsilanti locales significant to the movements for civil rights, women’s equality and human rights and conclude back at Bona Sera with a celebration of our people power. https://www.facebook.com/loveresilienceactionypsi/
Ann Arbor: Gather at 1:30 PM outside the Federal Building at the corner of Liberty and Fifth. The March begins at 2 PM and ends at the Diag for a rally. For details, go to https://www.facebook.com/events/1260030690742284/
— Jorge Avellan is a reporter for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him firstname.lastname@example.org