Victory! End female genital mutilation in the US … Jaha Dukureh via Change.org


In June a petition was presented … If you click on the links you can read the complete article on how this petition helped make change in July. ~Nativegrl77

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Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is not a faraway practice — it happens even in the United States. Please join me in calling on President Obama to conduct a study on the state of FGM in America so that no other girls are subjected to this atrocity.

Warning: This email is about Female Genital Mutilation and may be upsetting for some readers.

When I was a baby in Gambia, I was subjected to a practice known as Female Genital Mutilation, or FGM. My genitals were cut and sewn shut. The sutures had to be reopened when I was 15 and forced into an arranged marriage in America. I escaped that marriage, and now I’m fighting to make sure that no other little girl ever has to experience the horror of FGM.

FGM is a terrifyingly common practice — the World Health Organization estimates that more than 125 million women alive today have been cut. The experience is devastatingly painful, not just when it happens but for years afterward. The physical and emotional scars last for life.

The US has strong laws on the books to stop FGM, but those laws aren’t being enforced. We know that people are breaking the law to cut girls in America or illegally take them to be cut in other countries, but we don’t know how widespread the problem is or what concrete steps can be taken to solve it.

I started a petition on Change.org calling on President Obama and the Deparment of Health and Human Services to conduct a study about the current state of FGM in America so that steps can be taken to stop this atrocity. Please click here to sign my petition.

In some ways, I’m lucky that I was only a baby when I was cut. Some girls are much older. They’re told they’re going on vacation to visit relatives, but really, they’re being taken away to be attacked and mutilated by their own families.

I have an amazing daughter of my own, and I cannot stand by while this happens to beautiful little girls just like her. Just like it happened to me.

I know that public pressure from petitions works to highlight the issue of FGM — just recently, a petition in the United Kingdom prompted their Minister of Education to issue warnings about FGM to schools all over the country. I know that with similar pressure in the US, we can tackle this horrible problem here and make sure we’re protecting little girls across America.

Please sign my petition calling on President Obama and HHS to conduct a study about FGM in America so that the laws preventing it can actually be enforced.

Thank you for standing with women like me.

Jaha Dukureh
Atlanta, Georgia

Silicon Valley’s narrative ~~~ On Black folks …ColorOfChange team


Silicon Valley has a problem.

Black Twitter

Tell Twitter to disclose its diversity data and host a public forum on making Silicon Valley more inclusive.

Take Action

 

Last year, when confronted with criticism about his appointment of an all-white, all-male Board of Directors, Dick Costolo – the CEO of Twitter – responded with a dismissive, joking tweet. 

“The whole thing has to be about more than checking a box & saying ‘we did it!’,” he later typed.1

It’s been months now since Costolo’s defensive response and although Twitter later added a white woman to its Board,2 the company has yet to publicly address the failure to appoint a single Black person despite data that confirms that Black folks make up a disproportionate share of Twitter’s user-base.

Much worse, in recent weeks as other Silicon Valley tech companies like Facebook, Yahoo, Google, and LinkedIn took the historic first step to release depressing data about the racial and gender composition of their staffs, Twitter has remained silent — refusing to jump on the data-release-bandwagon.3

That’s why we’re joining with Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow Push Coalition to call on Twitter to do two things: 1) release its employee diversity numbers immediately and 2) signal its commitment to real inclusion by hosting a public community forum that addresses the company’s plan to recruit and retain more Black talent. Will you join us? It only takes a minute.

Twitter is unlikely to break any trends

To date, most of the data disclosures have confirmed that Silicon Valley prefers its workers to be male and either white or Asian.4, 5 And although Twitter is unlikely to break any diversity trends that have emerged, transparency and a public commitment to improving the recruitment and retention of Black employees are critical first steps.

Though its minority representation numbers may mirror other Silicon Valley tech companies, Twitter has a unique role to play in this national conversation about hiring discrimination. Via the cultural force known as “Black Twitter,” Twitter has been built off the creativity of Black people, though they’re not on the payroll. 6, 7, 8 As such, the company owes our community more — more transparency, and a more thoughtful, solutions-oriented approach that addresses its failure to be more inclusive without blaming Black people.

Shifting the blame

Unfortunately, many of the tech companies (and their pundits) have been quick to incorrectly blame a leaky “talent pipeline” for the extreme racial hiring disparities revealed by these disclosures; pointing to statistics about the dearth of computer science degrees awarded to Black men and women, and bragging about their own philanthropic-investments in tech education for minorities.  Silicon Valley apologists are working to divert blame. 

Completely ignoring the fact that Black people are also severely underrepresented in nontechnical Silicon Valley roles, these blame-shifting tactics are not only misleading, they also serve to reinforce the false and problematic narrative that Black people are simply “unqualified,” undeserving and not valuable — that Black-thought is unqualified, underserving, and not valuable.

We cannot allow a corporate culture that seems hell-bent on making excuses for its replication of tired “good ol’ boy” networks to malign the intellectual and creative capacities of Black people in the process. 

Will you join us in this fight?

Thanks and Peace,

–Rashad, Arisha, Matt, Aimee, Bhavik, and the rest of the ColorOfChange team.
July 17, 2014

References

1.”Twitter CEO Takes Fire Over All Male Board”, ValleyWag, 2013-07-10

2. “Twitter appoints first woman, Marjorie Scardino, to board of directors“, The Washington Post, 2013-11-15

3. “Some in Silicon Valley Publicize Diversity, While Others Shy Away“, U.S. News, 2014-06-18 

4.”Silicon Valley Firms Are Even Whiter and More Male Than You Thought“, Mother Jones, 2014-05-29 

5. “Status Update: Facebook not so diverse“, USA Today, 2014-06-26 

6. “Black Twitter: A virtual community ready to hashtag out a response to cultural issues“, The Washington Post, 2014-01-20. 

7. “Mama I Made It: Pew Poll Study Confirms The Existence of Black Twitter“, okayplayer, 2014-01-01

8. “Black Twitter FINALLY Gets Recognized…so that Twitter can Sell Ads“, ValleyWag, 2014-21-01