Thank you. / by Beth Nakamura


Ghosts of Highway 20 has received much recognition, including a handful of Emmy noms this past week. It meant a lot to me when I got word that the photography would be included in American Photography’s Best of 2018. There have been other acknowledgements, too. 

Just want to put here for the record, such as it is, that most meaningful to me was recognition that came not from the journalism industry but from the National Women’s Coalition Against Violence and Exploitation (NWCAVE). At their conference last month we attended a luncheon, where we were honored for our work. Marlene Gabrielsen, whose story we featured in the project, came as our guest.

Marlene, whose experience of sexual violence perpetrated by someone who would go on to kill women, was disbelieved by law enforcement. Had Marlene been believed - she underwent a rape kit at the time of the attack; there was plenty of evidence - it’s entirely likely none of the murders would have occurred. 

I want to thank NWCAVE for this recognition. It’s my hope that the sweeping culture change occurring around sexual violence, assault and harassment will bring about new cultural norms with regard to the treatment of women, here in the United States and the world over. We have a long way to go. If everyone steps up — and I type these words marveling over the fact that they even need to be expressed — real change is possible.