The Women’s March drew a crowd of about 200 people on Sunday, Jan. 20. People gathered by the steps to Michigan State University’s Hannah Administration building to hear a list of women speakers, including Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. For Cheryl Sisk, this was her first experience at a Women’s March.
“I’m here in support of all of the women’s issues that I care about,” said the Michigan State University professor.
Other participants were veterans of protest movements. Charlene Devoe marched in the 1960s and participated in the last two Women’s Marches.
“I thought that a lot of this had been resolved, and got complacent and now I’m back up saying, okay, enough,” said Devoe.
Devoe commented on the weather as well. The day never reached temperatures warmer than 9 degrees Fahrenheit.
“It’s good to see people out here, even in this wicked weather, standing up for what they believe in,” said Devoe. “I think that we’ve made some progress.”
Some women brought their children to the march, such as Angelica Kim, an East Lansing local who brought her 9-year-old daughter.
“I think it is important to be an example,” said Kim. “As a parent, I want to make her an activist or give that motivation to her to stand up and be a voice for equality.”
Kim held a homemade a sign advocating for equal pay for women. The text read, “Demand equal pay” in bold, black lettering.
“The equal pay act was passed in 1963 by President JFK,” Kim explained, “and we still have a discrepancy in pay.”
Men attended the Women’s March as well. Bob Pratt, a local in the community, was one of those men.
“I’m just here to show support, to show solidarity,” said Pratt. “Just an advocate, just a supporter.”
Colorful signs held above heads, the crowd cheered and chanted phrases as speakers yelled into a microphone on the steps of the Administration building. Charlene Devoe stood toward the back of the crowd, wearing a sign reading “For them” with photos of her children on it. For her, protests were not new.
“Change is hard and it’s painful and it takes time,” she told me. “You have to stay vigilant. It’s really easy to let things slide.”