WASHINGTON — “I Am Not Invisible,” a traveling photo exhibit featuring portraits and bios of 20 Oregon women veterans from diverse backgrounds and eras of service, is on display in the nation’s capitol this week.
After its debut at the Portland Art Museum in February, “I Am Not Invisible” has been seen in various locations throughout Oregon, but this is the first time it’s traveled outside the state. The exhibit is on display this week only in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building, which is part of the U.S. Capitol Complex, in Washington, D.C.
Sen. Jeff Merkley and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, who saw the exhibit in Oregon, were instrumental in bringing it to D.C.
“All too often, the role of women veterans is left out of the conversation. The ‘I Am Not Invisible’ exhibit seeks to change that by highlighting the sacrifices and achievements 20 incredible women veterans have made at home and abroad,” Merkley said. “Our country owes women veterans a huge debt of gratitude, and I’m proud to bring this home-grown Oregon exhibit to our nation’s capital.”
“Women in the military serve our country with the same courage, dedication and valor as their male counterparts, yet too often they are made to feel invisible,” Bonamici said. “I’m proud to join Sen. Merkley in bringing the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ beautiful photo exhibit, ‘I Am Not Invisible,’ to Congress so our colleagues can see the faces of Oregon’s women veterans. Our country is stronger because women serve in our armed forces, and I am grateful to the thousands of women service members who protect our national security every day.”
“I Am Not Invisible,” which is a joint effort of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Portland State University’s Veterans Resource Center, is intended to shine a spotlight on women veterans, whose contributions, experiences and needs are too often ignored or overlooked socially, politically and legally.
“‘I Am Not Invisible’ is all about bringing honor and recognition to the women who have served their country, and what better place to do that than in the nation’s capital?” said Elizabeth Estabrooks, the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ women veterans coordinator. “It is an honor to bring this ground-breaking exhibit to Washington, D.C., and we are incredibly grateful to Sen. Merkley and Rep. Bonamici for making it possible.”
For more information about the exhibit and the women featured in it, or how you can bring “I Am Not Invisible” to your community, visit www.iani.oregondva.com.