Metro-East News

Edwardsville group to join in Women’s March on Washington

Desi Jellen
Desi Jellen

Desi Jellen has never done anything like what she’s about to do Saturday afternoon.

The Edwardsville resident, along with her two friends and daughter, will take a bus from Illinois State University to participate in the Women’s March on Washington the day after President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.

“I’ve never done anything like this before,” she said. “With everything that has been coming out in this election cycle, it just seemed like a good time to go do it.”

Jellen said her daughter, Hannah Jellen, asked her about going to the march back in November. Hannah, who is working toward her master’s degree at the University of Illinois, said she heard of the event from a friend who is a professor on campus.

So, Desi Jellen asked two of her friends — coworker Tiffany Brooks and neighbor Karen Schmidt — to go with them.

“This is going to be a totally new experience for all four of us,” Desi Jellen said. “It’ll just be fun.”

Desi Jellen said there are three buses leaving from the college in Normal on Friday night. Those three are are booked up and have been named after prominent female figures Gloria Steinem, Michelle Obama and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

From there, she said, those buses will arrive in Washington, D.C. in time for the pre-march rally from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the march from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The buses will head back to Illinois on Saturday night and arrive Sunday morning.

“With this last election cycle and all of the negative, ugly stuff being said about women and women’s rights, I told my daughter that this is a good way to show solidarity and that we are not a silent voice,” Desi Jellen said.