U.S./World: Cultural diversity, Int’l Women’s Day, UN delegation

Beyond the Carolinas

Cities honored for cultural diversity

WASHINGTON, D.C. — At its 2017 Congressional City Conference in Washington, D.C., The National League of Cities recognized six cities for implementing programs that enhance and promote cultural diversity in their communities.

The City Cultural Diversity Awards recognize municipal programs that encourage citizen involvement and honor cities that develop creative and effective programs to improve and promote cultural diversity through a collaborative process with city officials, community leaders and residents.

Those honored were: 50,000 and under population — First Place, East Meets West Festival, Morrisville, N.C., and Second Place, Better Together Initiative, Decatur, Ga.; 50,001-200,000 population — First Place, “Liberty and Justice for All” Freedom Walkway’s Ode to Civil Rights, Rock Hill, S.C., and Second Place, Westminster Inclusivity Board, Westminster, Colo.; and 200,001-500,000 — First Place, BIC Newcomers Pipeline, Winston-Salem, N.C., and second Place, Office of International and Immigrant Affairs, Aurora, Colo.

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“The strength of our nation lies in the diversity of our cities and towns,” said National League of Cities President Matt Zone. “Across the country, municipal officials are taking the lead on creating policies that are more accessible to and more inclusive of their diverse residents.”

info: nlc.org.

Orgs protest on Int’l Women’s Day

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Forty organizations protested in front of the White House on International Women’s Day on March 8.

The protest was organized by Abortion Care Network; Advocates for Youth; Amnesty International USA; AVAC; Black Women for Wellness; Catholics for Choice; Center for Health and Gender Equity; Feminist Majority Foundation; Global Fund for Women; Global Justice Center; HEALTH GAP Global Access Project; Ibis Reproductive Health; International Planned Parenthood Federation; International Planned Parenthood Federation — Western Hemisphere Region; International Women’s Health Coalition; In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda; Ipas; Muslim American Women’s Policy Forum; Muslims for Progressive Values; NARAL Pro-Choice America; National Abortion Federation; National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum; National Center for Lesbian Rights; National Council of Jewish Women; National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health; National LGBTQ Task Force; National Organization for Women; New Voices for Reproductive Justice; Orchid Project; Physicians for Reproductive Choice; Population Connection Action Fund; Population Institute; Promundo-US; Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice; Rise and Resist; SisterReach; SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW; UltraViolet; Washington Peace Center; and WIN.

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info: thetaskforce.org.

UN delegation includes opposition members

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On March 13 the United States Department of State announced that its official delegation to the 61st annual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women included representatives of two organizations known to oppose the United Nations human rights system, LGBTQ rights, and women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights: the Center for Family and Human Rights and the Heritage Foundation.

The center is labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The Heritage Foundation called for a cut in funding for programs combatting violence against women and claims that anti-discrimination laws grant LGBTQ people “special privileges.”

Jessica Stern, executive director of OutRight Action International, shared her comments by saying, “In their Senate confirmation hearings, Secretary of State Tillerson and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley repeatedly pledged to uphold the right to be free from discrimination as an American value. The appointment of these organizations to the official US delegation undermines their positions.”

She added, “I urge Secretary Tillerson and Ambassador Haley to ensure that the US delegation maintains non-discrimination at the CSW in the face of obvious pressure from these newly appointed members of the delegation. Fundamentalist notions about how women and girls should behave should never be the basis of advising or negotiating US foreign policy. It is also a bad sign that two organizations that have tried to delegitimize the United Nations and human rights internationally now sit on the official US delegation. Maybe the violent mentality that got C-FAM labeled a hate group successfully panders to their base, but the US government must ensure protection for the world’s most vulnerable people.”

info: outrightinternational.org.

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Posted by Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at specialassignments@goqnotes.com and 704-531-9988, x205.