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Several Women's Marches Planned For Southwest Michigan

Rebecca Thiele

Communities around the United States, including several in Southwest Michigan, are hosting women’s marches this weekend. The events are part of a three-year-old tradition of protesting the Trump administration’s agenda on everything from immigration to LGBT rights to birth control and the environment.

Participants have also called out the President for remarks they say are racist, sexist or simply not true.

Diana Hernández says she’ll touch on the injustice that immigrants have faced in the US when she speaks at Kalamazoo’s rally tomorrow. But Hernández, who directs Western Michigan University’s Division of Multicultural Affairs, says she doesn’t just want to talk about barriers at the southern border.

“We’re having a debate about a wall. It’s not about the wall, it’s the conditions,” she said.

You don’t have to go south to find objectionable conditions, she adds, with food insecurity and poverty affecting children in Kalamazoo.

Kelly Doyle is a member of the Kalamazoo Alliance for Equality and the director of Community Aids Resource and Education Services, a nonprofit that provides HIV care in Southwest Michigan. She is helping to organize the Kalamazoo event.

“The march kind of symbolizes that we’re not going away. We’re still here, we’re still fighting, we’re still speaking up,” she said.

The Kalamazoo march starts at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Bronson Park. Participants plan to walk to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park. Saugatuck, Holland and Grands Rapids are holding their own events.

Sehvilla Mann joined WMUK’s news team in January 2014 as a reporter on the local government and education beats. Before that she covered a variety of topics, including environmental issues, for Bloomington, Indiana NPR and PBS affiliates WFIU and WTIU. She’s also written and produced stories for the Pacifica Network and WYSO Public Radio in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Sehvilla holds a B.A. in French from Earlham College and an M.A. in journalism from Indiana University.
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