Michiana activists hold People's Inauguration to commit to social change

Published: Jan. 20, 2017 at 11:32 PM EST
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Friday local activists with the Civil Rights Heritage Center hosted the People's Inauguration to promote unity in Michiana.

Everyone joined together to promote equality, not just that of race or sexual orientation, but also people who have disabilities and the climate in our area. They discussed how to come together through all hardships.

"We stand with each other to make our voices heard," said Imam Mohammad Sirajuddin of the Islamic Society of Michiana.

Speakers from many different organizations across Michiana preached equality.

"Advocate for yourself, be strong, stand up, make your voice loud and clear," said Ann Drake of IUSB Disability Support Services.

"It was a time to kind of, I wouldn't say express our anger, but express that anger by preparing for action," said Civil Rights Heritage Center Director Darryl Heller. "There's things that are going to come down the pipe that we have to be vigilant about."

After the speakers finished their speeches, people in attendance had a chance to meet with all of the organizations and to join them if they wanted to.

Another initiative that happened Friday included the work of Cheryl Ashe. She is working to change the food stamp law in Indiana.

"Even if you did your drug crime, you did your time, you came home and five years later you got disabled, which means you cannot work, you still can't get food stamps," Ashe said. "Studies have shown that having that good nutrition helps reduce the craving [for drugs]. If you don't have the craving, you don't do the drug, you won't get another felony."

She's heading to Indianapolis on Monday to testify about the law before its committee.

The night ended with an Inauguration Ball, an after party to end the night on a positive note, just like they did in Washington, D.C.