Category Archives: Non Profit

New York Times/ Women In The World: An Interview With Planned Parenthood’s Latanya Mapp Frett

Weapon of war

Boko Haram rapes are compounding an already troubling problem in Nigeria

Complicating the evils perpetuated by Boko Haram is inadequate reproductive health care in Nigeria, Latanya Mapp Frett of Planned Parenthood Global says

Three teenagers who escaped a Boko Haram mass kidnapping in the northeast Nigerian town of Chibok last year./ (EMMANUEL AREWA/AFP/Getty Images)


This week, the horrors of Boko Haram’s coordinated campaign of violence against women were underscored by a new report that many of the girls and women who have been abducted by the extremist group were repeatedly raped with the goal of impregnation. Latanya Mapp Frett, who first spent time in Nigeria in her roles with the United Nations Children’s Fund and the United States Agency for International Development, spoke to Women in the World about violence against women and girls and her new mission as executive director of Planned Parenthood Global. Acute crises like the kidnappings and the use of rape as a weapon of terrorism focus the world’s attention, but sexual and reproductive health in Nigeria is precarious to begin with. Frett describes the collaborative efforts to change that.

Women in the World:  The world began to focus on Nigeria with the Boko Haram kidnappings, but it seems to be the tip of the iceberg. What is the most underreported story about Boko Haram?

Latanya Mapp Frett: Many of the rescued Boko Haram hostages are reportedly pregnant as a result of rape. They deserve access to a comprehensive package of sexual and reproductive health services including safe abortion.


Read more at The New York Times.


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Filed under Interviews, New York Times, Non Profit, Planned Parenthood, Sexual Assault Awareness, Women In The World

New York Times/ Women In The World: An Interview With Katie Ford

Freedom for all

“Eight years ago, I did not know that slavery existed today”

The former CEO of Ford Models wants to end modern day slavery



Despite abundant evidence that it still persists in modern times, many people relegate slavery to the past. But human trafficking could be found in your neighbor’s house, anywhere from downtown Manhattan to Brazil. The human trafficking trade is the second most profitable criminal enterprise after drug trafficking, affecting more than 2.45 million people daily with a total market value of $31.6 billion, according to the United Nations.

Globally, the majority of trafficking victims are women and girls — about 75 percent according to the same study. The victims’ fates range from forced labour to sex slavery. They are often brought to unfamiliar environments where they don’t know anyone or even the language, further isolating them.

Many stories make the news; ISIS has abducted thousands of women and girls, Boko Haram infamously kidnapped 276 Chibok schoolgirls, threatening to traffic them and hundreds of other girls and women they have abducted. But many stories do not make the news.

Katie Ford, a giant in the modeling world, has been working to end modern day slavery. The former CEO of Ford Models will host an annual benefit for her foundation Freedom For All on May 13 where three survivors of human trafficking from the Philippines will share their stories.


Read more at The New York Times.

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Into The Gloss- Neesha Arter, Writer

Neesha Arter, Writer



“I grew up in Albuquerque and went to college in California, where I studied creative writing and ended up writing a book. While I was in LA for school, I started writing for Angeleno Magazine, which is how I began working in journalism, too. Eventually I moved out to New York to get a book deal, which just happened two weeks ago! It’s called Controlled and it’s a memoir about sexual assault. I really couldn’t be happier that it’s getting published. It’s a really exciting time for me. [Ed note: Controlled (Heliotrope Books) will be available fall 2015.]

When I’m not working on the book, I write for New York Magazineand the New York Observer. I’ve been fortunate enough to interview some of my favorite people in entertainment for stories I’ve worked on—people like David Lynch, Drew Barrymore, Orlando Bloom, Barbara Walters…My conversation with Barbara was definitely one of the most memorable. It was also kind of controversial on a personal level because it was Woody Allen’s opening night of Bullets Over Broadway—not too long after his open letter went out in the New York Times about his relationship with Dylan—and Barbara Walters publicly supports him. I feel very strongly about this kind of thing and I do a lot of activism when it comes to sexual assault awareness. My editor was like, ‘You’re covering this!’ and I just said ‘OK!’ I didn’t think she was going to do interviews, but I just kind of jumped in front of her and said, ‘I’m Neesha Arter from New York Magazine! Can I talk to you for a second?’ and we got to talk, so that was great. I’ve watched The View since I was little and even if we disagree, I still admire her so much.

I also guest write for Mariska Hargitay’s Joyful Heart Foundation about various issues dealing with sexual assault. And I did the social media for this documentary called Brave Miss Worldwhich was written and directed by Cecilia Peck, Gregory Peck’s daughter. It’s about Linor Abargil, an Israeli who won Miss World in 1998 and was raped six weeks before she won the crown, and then later in life speaks out about it and travels around the world to help other victims of sexual assault. It’s really gratifying to be involved with such creative people making a difference. Everyone knows someone that has been affected by these issues. Sexual assault happens every day. I wrote an article for Teen Vogue about this and I had people writing to me from Australia and everywhere else saying, ‘I was raped and I haven’t told anybody except for you…’ and it’s just like, wow, that is a heavy thing. Nobody talks about it, which only makes it more important that the media shines a light on the cause. And if I can help somebody and say, ‘You’re not alone,’ then that’s all I want to do.

For my job and my activism, I go to a lot of black tie events to interview subjects and support causes close to me. But because I’m usually there to work, I don’t worry about if my hair or eye makeup is really ‘working.’ It’s not about being a celebrity, it’s about blending in and finding the story. I’ll do a darker eye—just pencil and mascara though, never shadow—and blow dry my hair. And then I’ll use what I use every day. I found MAC Powder Blush in Breezy because the lady at the store was like, ‘Oh, this one is probably good,’ and I’ve used it ever since [laughs]. I like powder formulas over creams because I find them easier to apply. My favorite mascara is Maybelline The Colossal Volum’ Express. My suitemate used it in college, and she always had pretty eyelashes, so I used hers before eventually buying my own. And I love lip gloss. I have so many! Paul & Joe Lip Color in Pink Ballerina is a good one, Stila Lip Glaze in Grapefruit is always a winner, and MAC Tinted Lipglass in Pink Lemonade is just fun to put on. Anything pink! It gives me that extra boost of confidence when I’m doing red carpet interviews or a one-on-one with someone I admire in the industry, so it’s definitely a product I can’t live without.

When it comes to skincare, I stick to the classics. I’ve been using Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash in Pink Grapefruit for as long as I can remember. I follow that up with their Oil-Free Moisturizer for combination skin. I use it during the day and at night. My mom gave me Clinique All About Eyes Serum because I have a huge issue with insomnia. Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair is also good for calming my eyes when I can’t sleep.

I actually use my favorite lotion, Soap and Glory Butter Yourself Body Cream, in the shower. It’s really good for when the air is dry in the winter. Then I shampoo my hair with Alterna Caviar Clinical Daily Detoxifying Shampoo and their Daily Root & Scalp Stimulator. They’re super fancy products that my friend gave me and I love the way they make my hair smell. I haven’t used Alterna Caviar Working Hair Spray since, like, prom, but I always keep it around just in case I need a little bit of extra volume.

And after a painful trip of eyebrow threading and a few failed pedicures, I swear by eyebrow waxing and painting my own nails. I just couldn’t stop laughing during those foot massages. Am I the only one who’s ticklish? So overall, I’m pretty low maintenance. I don’t have a ton of products, but the ones I do use, I’m very loyal to. I’ve gotten the most guidance from my mom, partially because there aren’t a ton of Indian women in the media—though I think Freida Pinto and I would be great friends.”

—as told to ITG

Photographed by Tom Newton.

Read more on Into The Gloss

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Filed under CONTROLLED, Culture, Media, Memoirs, New York City, New York Magazine, New York Observer, Non Profit, NYC, Teen Vogue, Theatre, Writing

New York Observer: July Tastemakers

How to Look Good On A Plane

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  • Sara Sampaio (Victoria's Secret PINK Model): "The answer is I am afraid I don’t! It's all about comfort for me, so I wear sweatshirts and leggings (I always travel in Victoria’s Secret Pink ones.) It's a battle to keep my skin and lips moisturized — the plane really makes my skin dry."

    Model Sara Sampaio and a bevy of tastemakers answered our most recent, pertinent question. “How do you look good on a plane?”
Read more at the Observer

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Filed under Art, Culture, Design, Fashion, film, Interior Design, Media, New York City, New York Observer, Non Profit, NYC, NYFW, Street Style, Tastemakers, Theatre, Travel, TV

New York Observer: June Tastemakers

Seth Meyers, Taylor Schilling and Jason Collins on Summer Hangouts

  • From a roof terrace with a bottle of Champagne to an outdoor restaurant or biking along the Hudson River, these are the spots to hunt New York’s elite this summer.

Read more at the Observer.

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New York Observer: Ford’s Fight For Freedom

Ford’s Fight For Freedom: Shindigger Heads To The Top Of The Standard For A Good Cause

Michael Stipe, Katie Ford and Monica Winsor at the event.

On Wednesday night at Top of the Standard, former Ford Models CEO Katie Ford hosted her annual bash to raise funds and build awareness for her Freedom For All foundation, which works to end modern-day slavery and human trafficking. The sex-slave trade is the second most profitable criminal industry after drug trafficking, affecting over 27 million people daily.

Luminaries from Duff Lambros, Nicole Miller, Ross Bleckner, Jay Snyder, Monica Winsor and Josh Mailman raised a glass to the formidable fight for freedom and the importance of acknowledging the prevalence of forced labor and domestic servitude. The evening’s highlight was a lively performance by Sarah Jones, most commonly known for her Tony Award winning one-woman show Bridge & Tunnel, originally produced by Meryl Streep.

A UNICEF ambassador, poet, and playwright, Jones has performed everywhere from “Sesame Street” to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, invited by Michelle Obama to help mark Women’s History Month. Intrigued to learn that April is Sexual Assault Awareness month, Jones welcomed the opportunity to enlighten the public: “I wasn’t aware of that, but I do think every month is a good month for Sexual Assault awareness. I want to make sure we’ve got twelve months covered!”

Nicole Miller and Helen Schifter.

After Jones had brought several of her distinctive characters to life in a way both disarmingly comic yet true to the cause, three real-life survivors of sex trafficking held the crowd spellbound with their personal stories. “They had similar dreams to ours, but their lives were taken from them,” Ford noted afterwards. One of the speakers, Holly Austin Smith, was marking the publication of her new nonfiction volume Walking Prey by Palgrave Macmillan, which she described as an academically researched study interwoven with her personal account.

As guest sipped Moscow Mules and downed passed sliders and tuna tartare, R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe told Shindigger that he sees America’s slaveholding past as a barrier to greater awareness about the night’s cause. “Americans are very freaked out by the word ‘slavery’ and what it represents. It’s a past that we’re very embarrassed about, and it’s easier to not think about. But this brings it right into our own neighborhoods and today’s consciousness.”

“I’m surprised it doesn’t get more press. Especially with the Ohio kidnapping story; what were the neighbors doing?” lamented designer Nicole Miller.

Many guests were drawn by Katie Ford’s personal commitment to the issue. “I’ve known Katie for many years. Katie always wanted to be Margaret Mead. I always knew she was going to do something magnificent in her life and this is it,” longtime friend and onetime MTV VJ Duff Lambros told Shindigger.

See more at the Observer.

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Brave Miss World: Summoning the Courage to Speak Out (Joyful Heart Foundation)

Brave Miss World: Summoning the Courage to Speak Out


 Joyful Heart is grateful for this week’s guest post by Neesha Arter, an author and survivor who recently wrote about her experience in Teen Vogue. Read Neesha’s story hereContent awareness for readers: this blog and accompanying video contain detailed and graphic depictions of violence. Some stories may surface feelings, thoughts or memories that could be uncomfortable. Please know that reactions such as the ones described above are common and if you are feeling overwhelmed with the information, we encourage you to listen to your intuition.

“There is nothing to be scared of because the worst part already happened,” says Miss World 1998, Linor Abargil, in the new documentary Brave Miss World. Abargil is referencing the life-altering event that happened a mere six weeks before she was crowned. On a brief trip to Milan for modeling, the Israeli beauty queen was abducted and brutally raped at knifepoint by a travel agent. Once she earned the title of Miss World, she knew that her life’s mission was to speak out against sexual assault and rape.

At eighteen years old, Abargil was able to put a serial rapist behind bars, but it was only after she had to recount her traumatic experience during the trial. While taking the stand, she felt like she was reliving the rape for a second time and finally understood why so many people don’t report their incidents of assault. With incredible determination, Abargil was able to find the justice that many people seek. After her attacker was found guilty, she turned to the camera crew and said, “If it happened to you, don’t be afraid to report. If I can do this, you can, too.” She gave courage to a nation of women, and the incidence of reports rose dramatically in the following year.

Cecilia Peck and Inbal Lessner’s new film follows Abargil’s harrowing journey as she travels the globe as an advocate for other rape survivors, battling the trauma that speaking out brings up. During a speech at the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, she says, “Rape is so isolating because even if you tell them [friends/family,] they are afraid to mention it, so you’re surrounded by silence.” After her speech, many survivors share their stories with her and she sees a unifying factor across cultures. “We all have the same pain, no matter where you’re from,” she states.

Realizing how prevalent and underreported this crime is worldwide, Abargil stresses that rape can happen to anyone, no matter race, ethnicity or religion. She meets with victims in South Africa, the rape capital of the world; where women are more likely to be raped than educated. She travels to universities from UC Santa Barbara to Princeton, confronting a campus culture which blames victims for their assaults. Joan Collins shared the story of her rape at 17 by an older actor whom she went on to marry, confessing, “I really hated him, but I was so filled with guilt that he had done this.” Fran Drescher also spoke about her rape at gunpoint when she was 27. “The detective told us that we did everything right because we lived,” she recounts tearfully.

When I spoke to Cecilia Peck about victims of sexual assault, she wants them to know: “It wasn’t your fault, you’re not alone, and there are friends and help lines who will believe you, support you, and love you. It’s so important to reach for help.”

Summoning the courage to speak out, in the belief that telling her story will help others seek help and report the crime, Linor Abargil gives a voice to survivors worldwide and reminds us that we are not alone. She says, “Speaking is the best pill; it heals you.” As a survivor myself, the first time I watched this film, I knew it was my part to share Linor’s story.

Brave Miss World is currently being screened across the world. To find a screening near you, click here. Tonight’s screening, Thursday, Dec. 12, is open to the public at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan. Click here for tickets.

– See more at: Joyful Heart Foundation

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Filed under film, Joyful Heart Foundation, Media, New York City, Non Profit, NYC, Teen Vogue

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