I marched. It was a wonderful, unifying experience. So many beautiful people and inspiring stories, but I felt like something was missing. All of these people that came out on January 21st and marched for so many reasons would then go home and…that was it? It would just be gone forever? Would those not at the march really understand?
The other thing that bothered me was that there were no elected officials from Nebraska there. Not only that, but they didn’t mention or acknowledge it at all. That seemed odd to me as there had never been a demonstration that size in the history of the state of Nebraska or the United States. I worried that the people we have representing us wouldn’t understand the reasons why we marched because they weren’t there, which I obviously couldn’t change, but also because nobody told them. That part I knew I could fix.
I asked people to give me their stories on why they participated in the Women’s March (in body or in spirit) so we could put them in a binder and deliver them to our Governor, Senators, and Representatives. I received 130 responses in a matter of weeks. People wanted to share, they wanted their voices to be heard, not only by our representatives but by everyone. With this blog the public can now read the same stories that were (or soon will be) given to Nebraska’s leaders.
I want to thank all the women and men who were bold enough to share their powerful stories with me, I hope this simple blog does them justice. I also want to thank the many volunteers that helped me with this blog and with advocacy. I hope you, the reader, enjoy this project and can learn something from it and that we all can be understood.
-Andrea Riley, Creator of Why I March Nebraska Project