I Am Not Invisible
We are two million strong. We are mothers, sisters, friends, partners, and wives. We are advocates, bosses, students, and survivors. We are all eras and branches of service. We are women. We are Veterans.
There are roughly two million women Veterans, making up ten percent of the Veteran population and growing. Yet they continue to face significant barriers and challenges in accessing necessary health care and other services, while experiencing a lack of recognition. Women veterans are not only overlooked by those around them, but frequently struggle to consider themselves Veterans. The I Am Not Invisible (IANI) campaign began in February 2017 as a way to increase visibility of women Veterans, who are often invisible both as Service members and Veterans. The campaign aims to increase awareness and dialogue about women Veterans and open viewers’ eyes to the myriad contributions, needs, and experiences of women who have served in the military.
With the completion of the IANI photography, the IANI Campaign 2.0 kicked off in December 2020 enhance the visibility of women as Veterans and to change the culture of gender-based harassment by strategically placing these images of women Veterans in VA medical facilities. This will help ensure women Veterans feel welcome in their own spaces.
The IANI Campaign 3.0 kicked off in August 2021 to focus on giving women Veterans a safe platform to share their memories, reflections, and thoughts through the Library of Congress Veterans History Project.
With support from the Center for Women Veterans (CWV) this project has crossed 50 States, 75 cities, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 28 Native American/Alaska Native Nations to capture more than 3,200 women Veteran images. For downloadable copies of any of these photos, please contact the CWV, to view them visit the CWV Facebook page, to read more news check out our blogs.
In August 2021, CWV began working with the Library of Congress (LOC) to collaborate on the Library’s Veterans History Project (VHP) to collect, preserve and make accessible the oral histories of women Veterans. The oral history project will record Veteran stories in their own voices so that the public, universities, museums, and others can learn from them for generations to come. During 3.0 we are collecting video and audio recordings of personal histories and testimonials of women Veterans, as well as visual and written materials such as letters, diaries, photographs, audio-visual recordings and other ephemera relevant to the personal histories, to create a collection of the original recordings, to make digital copies of the collection available for public use on the web, to preserve and archive the recordings at the library.
On March 8, 2022, the CWV and LOC VHP hosted a virtual panel titled “I Am Not Invisible 3.0” through Facebook, marking International Women’s Day, the panel explored the challenges they face, communities they represent and discussed how we can all be better advocates. Read the IANI 3.0 blog watch the virtual panel and learn how to tell your story.
With the full support of VA Leadership, CWV created IANI 2.0. 2.0 took IANI one step further to request that request VA medical centers and community-based outpatient clinics to permanently display photos using the existing stock of IANI photographs of women Veterans from their facility or state. The history of IANI has shown that these photos are a perfect avenue for advocacy and awareness. The overarching goal of IANI 2.0 is to begin to change the culture of gender-based harassment in facilities and ensure the welcoming, service and contribution of women Veterans. See more on the CWV Facebook page. Stop by to see these photos that honor our women Veterans. Send them to us, tag us on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. #BringWomenVeteransHome2VA #IANI #VAWomenVets.
If your facility would like to participate, please email the CWV to request more information.