Women in East Lansing march for change

Posted at 10:29 PM, Jan 20, 2019

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- For a third year, women and their allies marched in cities across the nation. Locations scheduled for the January events included several in Michigan,

On Sunday, Michigan State University students and members of the surrounding community flooded the streets with their message.

"We're not standing down and the things that are going on are unacceptable and we're obviously not going anywhere," says Ravyn Jones, a Freshman at MSU.

The Women's March originally started as a demonstration against President Trump, but has since morphed into a multi-faced effort calling attention to oppression, civil rights, and even environmental politics.

Jones wants to make it clear "We don't want there to be any type of system of oppression legitimized or ok with now because it's all about understanding we're redefining feminism as we speak."

The march comes as leaders of the national organization face calls to step down, in part because of their associations with nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan who has led the black nationalist group since 1977, and is known for hyperbolic hate speech aimed at the Jewish community.

While the national group remains in the spotlight, organizers of the MSU Women's March say they're separating themselves from that issue and instead, are sticking to the core values.

Frankie Lipinski, co-organizer tells FOX 17, "We understand that in order to move forward in order to make any kind of change happen with the momentum of the anger people are experiencing we need to be together as a community."

Some of that anger comes in the wake of the of the Larry Nassar scandal, putting sexual assault awareness at the forefront of the conversation, especially at MSU.

"Relaying the message to our administration that we are still not happy with stuff that has happened here and that's continuing to happen," Rachel Winfield, co-organizer tells FOX 17 that the march is a step in the right direction. "Relaying the message to our administration that we are still not happy with stuff that has happened here and that's continuing to happen."

Co-organizers add that going beyond the crowd of colorful signs and laced up walking shoes will help push the women's march agenda forward.

Following the march, Governor Gretchen Whitmer also spoke about a number of issues.

The MSU Women's Council says it also has several upcoming events.