We the People is a blog series that features the stories of members, supporters, volunteers, and allies of the American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota. Together we are accomplishing critical work in our state to protect and advance civil liberties across the Midwest and beyond.

Mother, grandmother, wife, and lifelong South Dakotan. Nancy joins us on our We the People blog to share ways people can express their passion and get involved in their community today. 

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Nancy, and I’ve lived my entire life in Dell Rapids with my family and friends. I’m 55 years old, a mother of two, wife, and grandmother of one tenacious little boy.

When did you first hear about the ACLU and why did you want to get involved?

I have been familiar with the American Civil Liberties Union for a number of years, but until recently wasn’t aware of the full gamut of what they do. After realizing what they do in-depth is when I got more involved. It really became more apparent to me how important this work was, when my son Adam started working for the ACLU of South Dakota. I knew that if this was something he felt passionately about, I had to give my time and help out.  

How does the ACLU and its work relate to you personally? Are there any issues you feel most connected to?

My son Adam is gay, and coming from a rather conservative state, I knew there would be ongoing challenged for him and the community he’s a part of. I’m a passionate advocate for LGBTQ rights along with many other issues I feel connected to. That little fire within was stoked when Trump got elected. I knew people like my son, the broader LGBTQ community, women’s rights, immigrants’ rights, and more would be under attack by this administration. I really had no choice but to step up and get involved.   

What makes you want to stay in South Dakota and support organizations like the ACLU?

I’ve never questioned living in South Dakota my entire life. I would show my support here as in any other state since it's where I chose to stay.

What would you tell a friend who’s interested in getting involved in their community as an activist?

It doesn’t have to be complicated. Anyone can be involved simply by showing up and showing support. If you want to take a more direct approach, write a letter or contact your state legislators. Consider lending a hand with an event or show your support in another way. There really are countless ways to express your passion as an advocate for change.

So there is no time like right now! Email the ACLU today and get involved, or sign up here to volunteer.