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Coastal Carolina University students, faculty, alumni prepare for D.C. Women's March

Forty-seven students, faculty and alumni from Coastal Carolina University will be going to Washington,D.C. for the Women's March on Washington.

There are three separate trips: one through CCU and two others that are independent of the university.

The Women's March on Washington will take place on Saturday, Jan. 21 in Washington, D.C. near the Capitol.

The largest trip, sponsored by the College of Science and Social Justice Research Initiative (SJRI), will have 26 students and two faculty members.

"The students, primarily women, comprise a variety of majors and interests across campus. We had an informational meeting the other night, and it's a great group of students who are committed to social justice and women's rights. As we reiterated the mission of the Women's March in our informational meeting the other night," organizer for the "Women's Rights are Human Rights, and Human Rights are Women's Rights" event and CCU professor Deborah Perkins said.

A separate group, independent of the university, is being led by CCU political science teaching associate Virginia Norris. She said she wants to give her students a chance to express themselves.

"I had several students who came to me last semester towards the end of the semester, after the election, and they were interested in attending the Women's March on Washington. I wasn't quite sure how we were going to do it," she said.

Norris said she raised about $500 for the trip through t-shirt sales. That money will cover the cost of the van rental, gas and metro passes. The 12 students and two alumni will only have to pay for their food.

Many students who are going to the Women's March on Washington said they're passionate about women's rights.

Katie Brooks, along with three other CCU students will be going through their club, the Women in Intelligence and National Security Club.

"Standing up for ourselves and saying that we are a force to be reckoned with and are not going to let anyone else control our bodies," she said.

Krystina Millar is going on the trip with Norris. She said she's a strong feminist and she believes in women's rights.

"Closing that wage gap is very important and also reproductive rights. I really want to rally for reproductive rights. I think a woman should definitely have the right to her own body," she said.

For CCU student Tess Emiroglu, it's about getting a message to President-elect Donald Trump and all the government officials, she said.

"To see someone who has made such vulgar comments about women, about ethnic minorities, about different religious groups, those just aren't our American values. I think that it's important that we stand up and say that's not okay," she said.

For Norris, it's not about politics, but instead about giving her students a platform to stand up for what they believe in.

"Women's rights cross party lines. Women's rights are important to all of us. We are mothers, we are daughters, we are sisters, we are friends," she said.

Dozens of other people from across the Grand Strand and Pee Dee also plan to attend the March on Saturday. Women from the Zonta Organization are planning to leave Friday night for the march on Saturday.

The Zonta Organization strives to empower women through service and advocacy.

More than 30 members of Action Together Pee Dee will leave from Florence Friday night to head to the march. Action Together Pee Dee is a human rights organization.

For more information about the Women's March on Washington, click here.


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