Participants of the Journey for Justice event gather around the Capitol Fountain and Renee Sans Souci as the memorial ceremony for COVID-19 and human rights deaths begins on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020 in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Participants of the Journey for Justice event gather around the Capitol Fountain and Renee Sans Souci as the memorial ceremony for COVID-19 and human rights deaths begins on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020 in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Nebraskans gather at the Nebraska Capitol to raise awareness to recent human rights issues

The first ever Journey for Justice rally and pre-election event was a chilly success for the grassroots organization Stand In For Nebraska. On Oct. 25, activists and supporters gathered at the Capitol Fountain across from the Nebraska State Capitol to bring awareness to human rights issues. 

The event featured an on-your-own journey where anyone could ride, walk, run the Homestead Corridor Trail or drive the U.S. 6 highway from Beatrice to Lincoln and support essential human rights issues of any kind.

“I was riding for the Free Earnest Jackson movement and missing and murdered indigenous women, innocent lives and breaking of generational curses,” said Nature Villegas, team member for the Journey for Justice event. 

Participants placed flowers in remembrance of those who have died of COVID-19 and human rights issues on the Nebraska Capitol steps after a memorial ceremony led by Stand In For Nebraska board member Renee Sans Souci.

There were also speakers who talked about a variety of different issues and causes. 

“We need to continue our passion, our feat, to vote and make a difference,” said Sen. Pansing Brooks during her speech. “We can all be great together. We can all see and fuel our passion and peace.”

Villegas said even though it was a cold day, it was beautiful to see people show up and make the small sacrifice to support the cause.

“Anyone can say, ‘Yeah, I support that’,” she said. “But what are you doing to do so?”

This was just the first Journey for Justice event. The team is planning another one for the spring.

“The point was to bring other people into the community that are activists and just people in general that have causes that they wanted to speak on or show their support and voice for and show a unity in the community,” Villegas said.

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Participants gather around the Capitol Fountain waiting for the memorial ceremony for the Journey for Justice event to begin on Sunday, Oct. 25 in Lincoln.
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A participant holds a sign for Sandra Bland on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, at the Journey for Justice event in Lincoln, Nebraska. Sandra Bland was a 28-year-old African American woman from Texas who was pulled over in a traffic stop, arrested and died of due to what is ruled a suicide.
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Participants of the Journey for Justice event gather around the Capitol Fountain and Renee Sans Souci as the memorial ceremony for COVID-19 and human rights deaths begins on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020 in Lincoln, Nebraska.
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Participants at the Journey for Justice event standing at the memorial ceremony on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020 in Lincoln, Nebraska. They wear an “I can’t breathe” mask, a slogan that was created after the death of George Floyd in May 2020.
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Participants lay flowers on the Nebraska Capitol steps as part of the memorial ceremony for COVID-19 and human rights deaths at the Journey for Justice event on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Lincoln, Nebraska.
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A participant holds a “Justice for Breonna Taylor” sign at the Journey for Justice event on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Lincoln, Nebraska.
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Sen. Pansing Brooks speaks to the crowd gathered during the Journey for Justice event on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, at the Capitol Fountain in Lincoln, Nebraska.