Women for Change March for Unity hopes to bring the community together


Women for Change is hosting a March for Unity motorcade Saturday, Sep. 18.

Women for Change, was founded in 2017 after a shooting incident near the Eurma Hayes Center. 

Ginger Rye-Sanders, the president and founder of Women for Change, said her house was nearby the shootout. Rye-Sanders said was motivated to start the organization due to outrage and the fear that her grandson could have been harmed in the shooting.


“He heard the shooter, and ran towards the young man that had fallen due to the gun fire, and he knelt over, and tried to help him,” Rye-Sanders said. “My grandson could have been hit because bullets do not have eyes.”

After the incident, Rye-Sanders said she and a group of concerned local women met with the mayor, city manager, police department and a neighborhood service person.

“The only people that came to my rescue were women,” Rye-Sanders said. “Ever since that time we have been a voice in the community to educate and inform the neighbors.”

Women for Change members organized their first march in Sep.2017, according to The Southern Illinoisan. 

Rye-Sanders said the event is intended to bring together any organization working to, “ban discirmination, and come against disparity,” in Carbondale. 

“We network with a lot of organizations in town. We go to their events. We support them. They support us,” Rye-Sanders said. “I know a lot of times there are divisions with organizations. We want to bring notice to the things that bring us together.”

In past years Women for Change organizers hosted a big party after the march, Rye-Sanders said, but this year they are settling for a motorcade and a brief park meetup. 


Throughout the year Women for Change organizers also host voter registration drives, a community garden program and food drives.

“Our community suffers from food insecurity so we give away everything for free,” Rye-Sanders said.

The motorcarade will start at Rock Hill Baptist Church, and travel to Attucks park, places that Rye-Sanders said have significant meaning to the Carbondale community.

Reverend Lenus Turley was the minister of Rock Hill Baptist Church. Turley helped organize the March on Washington, marched in Selma, Ala. and was a community advocate for incarcerated Black men.  

Attucks Park, named after Crispus Attucks, the first person to die in the Revolutionary War, was donated by a Mr.Gibbs so  kids could have a place to play, Rye-Sanders said.

March for Unity is scheduled to go from 11 a.m. till 2 p.m. 

“We must come together, and collectively be people that will change what is going on in Carbondale. Now, we say we want to do it. We say that it is in our mission statement, and we need to do more than say it. We need to really really be about change,” Rye-Sanders said.

Staff reporter Janiyah Gaston can be reached at [email protected] or on Instagram at @janiyah_reports. To stay up to date with all your Southern Illinois news follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.