Friday, June 5, 2020

Detroit Women's March calls for inclusivity and change

January 20, 2019

A sea of pink hats filled the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History on Jan. 19 for the Women’s March in downtown Detroit.

Originally set to take place in Lansing like years previous, Michigan Women’s March organizers moved the event to Michigan’s largest city to better accommodate marginalized groups. 

Hundreds of women came together wearing pins with messages of empowerment and handmade signs and chants at the ready.  

Speakers with diverse backgrounds and concerns like Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Abdul El-Sayed,  runner-up to the Democratic gubernatorial race, and ‘water warrior’ Monica Lewis-Patrick were only a couple of the many who addressed the crowds.

Karyn Burbank, 41 of Ferndale said that despite the weather that cancelled her original plans to attend the Washington D.C. Women’s March, she was happy to brave the snow to support the local Detroit community. 

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“I definitely think that it’s different for every single person, but for me I think that it’s important to show solidarity with all of your other sisters that are here in the United States and abroad that are trying to come here for a better life,” Burbank said. “I love that so many women come together to stand up together."

Candice Hunter, 35, a born and raised Detroiter and organizer with the Mothering Justice organization also felt that it was important to use the march to ensure all voices are heard, especially for women of color. 

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“We thought it was important to be here and be a part of this strong movement because as it says "the women’s wave" we need to come together to help progress our agenda to move the dial forward for progress for women and we feel like being here helps to let them know that our voices are being heard, but especially the voices of black women are being heard; statewide nationwide, worldwide,” said Hunter. 

Detroit resident Lavonia Perryman, a longtime political activist and former president of the National Black Women’s Political Congress echoes the belief that for change to truly come about it needs to be a collective effort by all women in the community. 

“I think that it’s important for women of all (races), creeds and (colors) to join forces to make a difference in anybody's community and it’s going to take me, you and anyone else who is on the ground to make a difference in their community,” said Perryman. 

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“I am here today to support the other sisters who’ve been in the trenches who are really, really in the trenches every single day doing the work in their community and making a difference,” Perryman said. 

The Detroit Women’s March set a tone of inclusivity and reflected the truly diverse community of women in Michigan and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. 

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