The internet is a great platform to voice your ideas and advocate for social change. Kiersten Marek, writer for news website Inside Philanthropy, uses CoPromote to spread her knowledge and connect with other like minded individuals. Using real life experience, she brings different perspective on many issues. Check out the chat we had with Kiersten below about her content, and the issues she is most passionate about!
If you’ve been reading Inside Philanthropy lately, you know that a number of tech companies and leaders have stepped forward in the past year to address gender issues in tech with philanthropic initiatives. Awareness on this issue is finally growing, although change is still slow.
Now imagine that you are lesbian or transgender. The lack of representation for these minorities in the tech world is not even tracked for data, but based on the experiences of trans and lesbian people in the field, the need for more work on equity for this group is very real. With a high level of isolation and very few role models, lesbian and transgender folks face added challenges in starting and maintaining careers in the tech industry.
Attention organizations working on inclusiveness: The Pride Foundation is now open for applications from nonprofit community organizations for projects that enhance the lives and address the needs of LGBTQ youth, adults, and families in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and/or Washington.
Through its Community Grants Program, the Pride Foundation supports a wide variety of efforts to help the LGBTQ community, with a particular emphasis on supporting the most vulnerable and whose needs are currently less visible. The over-arching goal here is to create systemic change that will eliminate barriers long-term for LGBT individuals and families.
The health and safety of sex workers: It’s not an issue most of us tend to think about every day, but it’s yet another example of how marginalized populations are often left out of essential public policy discussions on subjects like health care, housing, education, and workforce development.
That’s why we thought it would be a good idea to jump on the phone with some leaders in the field of health and safety for sex workers to find out what philanthropy is doing, and what philanthropy could do, about this segment of our community. We talked with Scott Campbell, executive director of the Elton John Aids Foundation (EJAF), and Crystal DeBoise, co-director of the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center, to learn more about what is going on for sex workers, and what philanthropy can do to bring this issue in from the margins.
LGBT seniors in Philadelphia now have a new housing option in the “Gayborhood,” the nickname for the neighborhood where the William Way Residence opened. The 56-unit housing development, funded by the Dr. Magnus Hirshfeld Fund, is a haven for elderly LGBT folks who need affordable housing.
David Kato got up on the net briefly following his murder in 2011. He knew that he walked with a target on his back every day he lived as a gay-rights advocate in war-scarred Uganda.
This may seem far-removed from American politics, but there’s more than Ugandan trauma and prejudice at play here. American Evangelical ministers and politicians see a fertile mission field for converts and allies. Ugandan politicians, on their part, see a chance to make connections with Americans who wield power in Congress.
And who loses? Just some Ugandan citizens and organizers who have less power than Jews in pre-war Germany. This comparison is not made lightly. Proposed laws would spark an internal war on gay Ugandans, their associates, and anyone who could be labelled as gay- whatever their orientation and lifestyle.
And this is not hypothetical. Uganda has not recovered from recent civil wars. This is a match to gasoline. The name of Idi Amin is familiar to some Americans, there are other disastrous regimes that afflicted Uganda.
To see more about David Kato and the American snake-oil preachers who set him up for the hit, see here.
If you’re wondering why a Kenyan witch-hunter blessed Sarah Palin in her Alaska church, there’s an answer. It’s a small world now.
Three case studies are presented as examples of the complex problems married clients bring to the therapist. [These clients have approved the use of their real names because they are exhibitionists.]
Case History 1.
Jacob and Leah sit side by side on a couch. To the experienced eye the couple’s body language reveals tension and stress. Jacob gazes into the distance while Leah shrinks into the cushions. Rebecca, Jacob’s other wife, squats on the floor. Rebecca is rending her garment, one thread at a time. The steady plinking noise punctuates the session. It’s very irritating.
The handmaids, Bilhah and Zilpah are outside in the parking lot watching the kids.
Leah to Jacob—“I know you never really loved me. You resent it that my father tricked you into marrying me? Well how do you think I feel? I was fruitful and bore you sons and Rebecca couldn’t stand it. She gave you her maidservant to lie with. That’s cheating.”
Rebecca to Leah— “You should talk about cheating. You found a mandrake root and wouldn’t give me any unless I sent Jacob to lie in your tent. I think you were on mandrake all along.”
Leah to Rebecca— “I had to give Jacob my maidservant to lie with to get even with you. Now I hardly ever see him. Why couldn’t you just accept that you’re barren?”
Jacob to Wives— “Why can’t we all just get along?”
Case History 2.
Tamar has occupied an armchair on one side of the room. Her expression is aggrieved and defiant. Judah sits as far away as possible, his expression unreadable because he has veiled his face. He is wearing dozens of small protective amulets that rattle when he moves.
Tamar– “Every day I ask G–d why I was forced to marry into this family. It’s not my fault that Judah’s son, my first husband Er, got smote. And Onan– he was even worse. I still have a burn mark from when the lightning struck. And don’t even ask about PTSD–I was right next to him in bed. I know they were your sons, Judah, but fair’s fair. I should have been married to the youngest when he grew up. Instead you would have left me at my father’s house to wear widow’s weeds until menopause. If I hadn’t dressed up like a prostitute and stopped you on the way to sheep shearing I’d be childless today.
I want a brother or sister for your twins. How come you shun my tent? I think it was pretty generous of me to overlook the fact that you tried to have me burned to death.”
Judah–“Wife, let me put this in terms you can understand. It’s the bottom of the ninth, you already have two strikes. Third strike and I’m out. I’m the coach of this game and it’s the dugout for you.”
Case History 3
Solomon comes to the therapist’s office alone. He looks very tired. He had arranged some sessions of individual therapy before scheduling couple’s therapy with his wives–
“When I was younger, I really liked to party. Even if I didn’t, some things are expected of the King of Israel. I’m married to Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. Some nights I can’t even remember their names. For instance, I’m married to three sisters named Jun, Jen and Jeun. And my first wife, Pharaoh’s daughter, is a real drama queen. I thought she’d mellow out but she’s still jealous as a cat. I think she’s been gossiping with some of my Edomite wives because my scouts report armed troops on the border and they’re getting intelligence from someone on the inside. It’s hard to establish trust when you have 1,000 wives, most of whom are from enemy tribes. I can’t seem to please any of them these days.”
Despite the challenges these tough cases present, the therapist can resolve all conflicts using simple rules based on the wisdom of millenia. It’s fortunate that traditional marriage has not changed in the last
3,000, 6,000, since Adam and Eve served dinosaur eggs at their wedding brunch. Though some complain that it’s hard to find room for all the cattle a bride brings to her husband’s family, mere convenience should not justify experimenting with an institution that has remained changeless through the ages and has served men so well.
(For more details on these cases see– Genesis 29-30:22, Genesis 38:6-30, 1 Kings 11:1-9, and do read your Bible for remedies to false claims.)