The Student News Site of University of Nebraska at Kearney

The Antelope

The Antelope

The Antelope

Community gathers for vigil for Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Students gathered outside of MONA to honor the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Kearney residents gathered outside the Museum of Nebraska Art last weekend to mourn the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsberg. Speakers from the college community reflected on the loss of an American icon.

A staunch advocate for women’s rights, the justice died at age 87 last week in her home last week after battling cancer on and off for several years.

“There should be no place where there isn’t a welcome mat for women,“ said Ralph Hanson, quoting the deceased justice as he spoke to the crowd gathered in the MONA parking lot. “It has always been that girls should have the same opportunity to dream, to aspire and achieve — to do whatever their God-given talents enable them to do — as boys.”

The event was organized by Kearney Indivisible, a local progressive activist group. The event, which was held to reflect on the life of the late associate justice, had upwards of 60 people in attendance.

Arrangements for the event moved quickly.

“[Saturday] morning when we woke up, we woke up to several people asking us if we were going to put on a vigil,” said Caleb Rohrer, a UNK student who delivered the closing remarks for the night’s events. “We decided that that would be an appropriate way to bring the community together.”

The event came together in under 12 hours, with Kearney Indivisible members taking care of individual tasks like writing programs, invitations, and speeches, as well as reaching out to the community to build interest. Kearney Indivisible also contacted a member of the local Jewish community, Dawn Mollenkopf, for guidance on how to respectfully honor Bader-Ginsberg’s faith.

Mollenkopf attended the event, delivering a eulogy for the late associated justice and leading the Kaddish prayer in both Aramaic and English. Mother Stephanie Swinea led a prayer for peace and the world prior to Mollenkopf speaking.

Other notable university community members at the event included city councilwoman Tami Moore as well as student city council candidate Jaden Longfellow, among others.

Speakers reflected on Ginsberg’s life and accomplishments. Notably, she was only the second woman to ever serve on the supreme court, and the first Jewish woman. Prior to her appointment by President Clinton, Ginsberg co-founded and directed the American Civil Liberties Union’s Women’s Rights Project and served in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, a position she was appointed to by President Carter.

The obituary explored the life of and offered some words of wisdom from the late associate justice.

“That’s what it’s all about: Women and men, working together, should help make the society a better place than it is now,” Hanson said, again quoting Bader-Ginsberg.

Bader-Ginsberg leaves a legacy of feminist trailblazing and a message that “you can disagree without being disagreeable.” The justice was famous for her dissents, for which she would don a lace collar, earning her the moniker “The Notorious RBG” with her fans. 

“And so as we grieve the passing of a great leader and servant, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we are left to be her living legacy,” Rohrer said, closing the night’s events. “She would want us to be kind to our fellow citizens and be a source of healing in our community, and she would want us to find the strength to carry on the fight. Above all, she would want us to exercise our liberties and rights guaranteed in the constitution she defended for 27 years.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Antelope

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Nebraska at Kearney . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Antelope

Comments (0)

All The Antelope Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *