POLITICS

Singer Brandi Carlile Pulls Out Of Women's Summit Because Of Kirstjen Nielsen

Carlile is the third person to say she won't appear at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit.
"I don’t think that human rights violators and merit-based abusers of displaced people should be given a platform to &l
"I don’t think that human rights violators and merit-based abusers of displaced people should be given a platform to ‘reimagine’ history. Ever," singer Brandi Carlile said in a statement explaining her decision to pull out of the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit.

Singer Brandi Carlile has become the third person to withdraw from the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in Washington, D.C., this week, in protest over the event giving a platform to Kirstjen Nielsen, President Donald Trump’s former homeland security secretary.

The Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit is a gathering of prominent women across industries, taking place Monday through Wednesday. 

“Respectfully, I absolutely cannot support Kirstjen Nielsen having a voice among the most powerful and inspiring women in America,” Carlile tweeted Monday morning. 

“I don’t think that human rights violators and merit-based abusers of displaced people should be given a platform to ‘reimagine’ history. Ever,” she added. 

Before resigning in April, Nielsen executed and oversaw Trump’s policy of separating migrant families, including children, coming into the United States. 

Activists have been pressuring the summit organizers to rescind their invitation to Nielsen, who is scheduled to speak on Tuesday. 

Last week, filmmaker dream hampton became the first person to withdraw from speaking at the event as a protest against Nielsen’s participation. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also pulled out on Friday, and a source familiar with the decision told HuffPost that Nielsen’s inclusion was the reason she backed out.

Jelani Drew-Davi, campaign manager with Credo Action ― one of the groups that has been pressuring Fortune to disinvite Nielsen ― said Fortune should not be giving Nielsen an opportunity 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 and her actions traumatizing immigrants and to apologize to the thousands of families she tore apart for the long-lasting damage she inflicted upon them,” Drew-Davi said. 

Fortune did not immediately return a request about Carlile. But last week, spokeswoman Alison Klooster defended Nielsen’s inclusion, saying it would be a “no-holds-barred interview” with a journalist as moderator and questions from the audience.

“We believe that the most powerful women in business, who also happen to be some of the most powerful women in the world, have strong views about how the U.S. Administration has handled its immigration policy,” said Klooster. “We sought out an opportunity to bring the woman who was effectively responsible for that policy to ask her tough questions publicly and on stage about that policy.”

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