Who are Minnesota's women veterans? A new project will share their stories.
A campaign launched this week called “I Am Not Invisible,” will highlight some of the thousands of women veterans in our state, "whose contributions, experiences, and needs are too often ignored or overlooked socially, politically, and legally," a news release says.
"I Am Not Invisible" will document the women's stories through a photography exhibit and public service announcements on radio and television.
The Ars Bellum Foundation, Women Veterans Initiative, Minnesota VFW, and 23rd Veteran have teamed up to bring the project – which was originally created in Oregon – to Minnesota.
There are 29,000 women veterans in Minnesota, the release says, a number that is growing more every year and represents almost 1 out of every 10 veterans in the state.
Still, these women often face significant barriers and challenges compared to male soldiers.
"We have some grim statistics here in Minnesota for our women veterans, about homelessness, sexual assault, suicide," Bridget Cronin, Executive Director of Ars Bellum Foundation said in the release.
"We want to increase awareness and conversation about the broad spectrum of experiences women veterans have had – both good and bad – and we want women veterans to know they are recognized, they are honored, they are supported," Cronin added.
Right now, organizers are seeking submissions from female veterans who are willing to share their stories. Women will share their bios and military experience in a short audio recording, and participate in a photography session in mid November.
The submission deadline is November 13. To participate or learn more about the campaign, contact Bridget Cronin at Bridget.Cronin@arsbellumfoundation.org or Angie Batica at WomenVeteransInitiative@gmail.com.
The campaign is scheduled to debut in March (which is also Women’s History Month), followed by a tour around Minnesota, organizers said in a Facebook post.