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After the March: Michigan Women Explore Next Steps

Activists hope to harness the energy of Saturday's marches to work for long-term change. (M. Shand)
Activists hope to harness the energy of Saturday's marches to work for long-term change. (M. Shand)
January 24, 2017

LANSING, Mich. – Many Michigan women are still basking in the afterglow of the historic marches that took place on Saturday, but they also say the message is clear: They're only just getting started.

Julia Pulver, the director of Women Organize Michigan, says the groups that marched over the weekend represent a vast array of causes and concerns. She recommends that people now find the organizations that most speak to them, and let them help prioritize their efforts.

"There's plenty of information sharing, there's plenty of outrage sharing, there's a lot of discussions and debates, which is fantastic," she said. "But what we want to do is cut through that to say, 'OK, you're outraged about this. What is your ask?'"

For example, she says people who support Planned Parenthood could consider using the organization for their yearly checkups, while the group "" is collecting stories about how the Affordable Care Act has helped women.

Ever since the November election, Pulver's group has been organizing summits around the state to help connect women with current issues and action. The next summit will take place in Kalamazoo in March.

She stresses that the 2018 midterm elections really are just around the corner, and she hopes Michigan women now see the importance of being involved at every level of government.

"When women are at the table, the conversation changes," she added. "When women are in the room, the tone changes, the priorities shift, and not even necessarily from a cynical way, but even just from a life experience, of a shared-experience way."

She says that can mean running for office, contacting and visiting lawmakers, and even just attending local government meetings.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MI