FYI — Huffington Post just reportedthat activist and filmmaker dream hampton pulled out of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women conference, which starts on Oct. 21, after Fortune refused to rescind its invitation to former DHS head Kirstjen Nielsen.
CREDO Action and other immigrant rights and progressive organizations are pressuring Fortune to disinvite Nielsen.
We’ve already seen our pressure lead to Fortune trying to reframe Nielsen’s Q&A as an examination of family separation — but having her on stage isn’t tough journalism, it’s giving her a platform to try to clean up her atrocities with pretty words. Our efforts will continue as we publicly pressure Fortune and work directly with other speakers at the Fortune conference to follow hampton’s lead and take a stand against Nielsen and the Trump administration’s cruelty.
Statement from dream hampton, filmmaker, author and organizer:
“Fortune should not be giving Kirstjen Nielsen a platform to rehabilitate her image. I’ve worked all my life to tell the stories of women, girls and families. Sharing a stage with Nielsen, who separated immigrant families and put babies in cages, would have put a stamp of approval on her immoral and reprehensible actions and help legitimize the terror that Trump is inflicting on immigrants and communities of color. So I’m cancelling my attendance and encourage other speakers to do the same. I’m thankful for the organizing CREDO Action, Define American and Bend the Arc have done to hold Trump collaborators like Nielsen accountable for their atrocities.
“Reputation rinsing—using visible, celebratory platforms to restore and normalize monstrous abuse, was actually common practice for predators like R Kelly and Jeffrey Epstein. When every infant, toddler, child and teenager Nielsen is responsible for ripping from their families is released and reunited, when attempts at restitution are made, then perhaps she can face one of them for a public ‘interview.’ Perhaps they’ll begin by asking her a softball, like ‘Does she now know Norway is a white country?’”
Statement from CREDO Action campaign manager Jelani Drew-Davi:
“We are in solidarity with dream hampton, who just showed what moral leadership looks like by refusing to speak on the same stage as child snatcher Kirstjen Nielsen at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit next week. Every other speaker should follow her lead.
“The grassroots pressure against Nielsen is working — Fortune has now tried to reframe Nielsen’s segment into asking ‘the hard questions’ about ‘the horror of family separation.’ But this still gives Nielsen a platform to attempt to rehabilitate her image and sanitize her cruel attacks on immigrant families and children. The only thing Nielsen should be allowed on a stage for is to condemn her complicity with an admitted racist andher actions traumatizing immigrants and to apologize to the thousands of families she tore apart for the long-lasting damage she inflicted upon them. Fortune should stop trying to redeem their bad decision and cancel the Nielsen session now. “
CREDO Action’s work to hold DHS heads accountable:
- Recent backlash from CREDO Action and other progressives forced former DHS secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to back out of the 2019 Atlantic Fest.
- CREDO Action also held a 2018 protest at Nielsen’s home, playing audio of crying children who had been separated from their families at the border.
- Last week, CREDO Action, along with activists from other immigration and progressive organizations and Georgetown Law students forced Kevin McAleenan off the stage before he could deliver the keynote speech at an immigration conference in DC. Four days later, McAleenan resigned.
- In 2018, after the death of a 7-year-old asylum-seeker in Customs and Border Patrol custody, CREDO Action confronted then-CBP head McAleenan directly by putting a projection on his home, calling on him to resign.
CREDO Action, part of CREDO Mobile, is a social change network of millions of activists, sending tens of millions of petition signatures and hundreds of thousands of phone calls to decision-makers each year. CREDO Action members also participate in meetings, protests and other direct action for progressive change.