This year marks an exciting time in our history— Congress passed the Juneteenth Independence Day Act.
World Animal Protection has moved the world to protect animals for more than 55 years. World Animal Protection works to give animals a better life. The organization's activities include working with companies to ensure high standards of welfare for the animals in their care; working with governments and other stakeholders to prevent wild animals being cruelly traded, trapped or killed; and saving the lives of animals and the livelihoods of the people who depend on them in disaster situations.
World Animal Protection influences decision-makers to put animal welfare on the global agenda and inspires people to change animals' lives for the better. More information on World Animal Protection can be found at: http://www.worldanimalprotection.us/
Tova Randolph, World Animal Protection
In America, Independence Day is celebrated as a national holiday on July 4. The first Independence Day was officially organized in Philadelphia, PA on July 4, 1777.
However, the road for all Americans was not easily celebrated, especially for African Americans. January 1, 1863, known as Freedom's Eve, was the initial start of freedom for enslaved people, but not all were considered legally free!
Although watch services were held in churches with the great news of The Emancipation Proclamation, there were still states in the former confederacy such as Texas that upheld the enslavement of Black people.
It was on June 19, 1865, when we were truly emancipated, and that day is now known as Juneteenth/African American Freedom Day or Emancipation Day.
This year marks an exciting time in our history— Congress passed the Juneteenth Independence Day Act. Juneteenth will serve as the nation's 12th federal holiday following the addition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983.
Juneteenth has a profound and much deeper meaning for me than many of my colleagues. I will admit working for an animal welfare organization was a change for me. I did not see many faces that mirrored my own.
Over the past year, we've faced many obstacles in the fight to end systematic racism, pandemic fatigue, police brutality, and just overall fear.
As I write this, I'm awash with emotion.
Although having a day off to celebrate Juneteenth is a start, it is not enough. However, I am encouraged by World Animal Protection's support as we pay homage to freedom and justice for all. Our organization has committed itself to dive deep into the hard and uncomfortable conversations surrounding diversity and inclusivity.
In these conversations and learnings, we begin to shed the layers of our own unconscious biases. We are fully committed to helping to end systemic racism and create equal opportunities for the disenfranchised.
This is how we can help create better lives for animals—by building a team of better people!
We are committed to raising awareness on Black Farmers who help propel our work against factory farming and producing high-welfare meat. We're committed to opening the door to our Black vegan and vegetarian communities for cross-collaboration.
You can donate to Black Farmers Fund where they are committed to creating a more equitable food system.
This Juneteenth, celebrate with us as it is also Black American Music Month. Maybe peruse a record store (for those of us who still frequent ) or visit a streaming service and listen to the sounds of Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, or whomever you like.
This Juneteenth, we also recognize our Black LGBT+ community as June is Pride Month. Please take a moment to think about how we can shine a light on the undervalued, underserved, and often abused members of that community.
How will I celebrate Juneteenth? I plan to visit a couple of museums like The Bedford Stuyvesant Museum of African Art and The Africa Center in Manhattan and take in all its glory, lessons, and reflect on the freedom of my ancestors and break bread with my family. I leave you with the words of my grandmother who believes in educating oneself.
To say can't is a woe to ambition. You can always achieve!
It is our hope you will continue to support our work and celebrate the people behind the scenes who make it all come together as we will respect one another's differences.
Marriage is an equal partnership - but women's invisible labor is devalued, especially when it comes to divorce
Kiran Rai founded celebrity-endorsed fashion line Sir Alistair Rai. As co-founder of Consciously Unbiased and the CU Project, Rai works to help change the narrative in our culture and empower people.
Bill and Melinda Gates' separation will be the biggest divorce in history. It's shown us that no partnership is unbreakable. It's also reminded us that women such as Melinda Gates are often judged or stigmatized for receiving what they are entitled to - even when it comes to separating from a partner of decades, whose success is built on their support.
Too often, there is the assumption that an ex-wife is getting money that she hasn't really earned. This speaks to a deeper truth about our culture and how we define valuable labor. If we're going to assume, we may assume that she did the majority of the unpaid labor as the CEO of the household and the everyday emotional labor of raising three children. Could Bill have become the man he is, and achieved the success he has, without Melinda? If not, doesn't that make the marital assets as much hers as his?
I hope that Bill not contesting the separation agreement will inspire more of us to see marriage as a true and equal partnership - like an LLC with 50/50 ownership - and for more couples to amicably separate, without the man devaluing what the woman has put into the relationship.
If the term 'gold digger' even fleetingly comes to mind, ask yourself why. She started dating Bill in 1987, when Microsoft's average share price was 0.3413 USD. On the day of the divorce announcement it was 247.8 USD.
Melinda was (and is) a career woman; she only cut it short so she could focus on starting a family. That's why we have the divorce laws we do: to compensate women like Melinda for the lost earnings they would have inevitably enjoyed if it wasn't for the family dynamic where Melinda stayed at home with the kids while Bill toured the world building the business. Their business, even if Melinda wasn't a shareholder.
Melinda's emotional labor in the family enabled Bill to achieve what he has. There are countless couples like Bill and Melinda. Because of their media profile, we know that she is a force of nature in her own right, a competent executive, author, speaker and philanthropist. But most of the world's Melinda's are invisible - even if the results of their work aren't.
In America today, women spend on average 271 minutes per day on unpaid work, compared with 165 for men. If American women earned minimum wage for the unpaid labour work they do around the house, they would have made $1.5 trillion in 2019, and globally they would have made $10.9 trillion.
This work, such as routine housework of cooking, cleaning, shopping, making doctors appointments, refilling the soap dispenser and childcare, is completely invisible to economists. It isn't included in labor statistics, or factored into GDP.
But without that work, society would collapse and you wouldn't produce another male billionaire. We don't need to imagine that; in 1975, 90% of Icelandic women went 'on strike' and did no domestic work.
The result: endless queues for takeaways and children being taken into workplaces by fathers who didn't know how to look after them (especially during board meetings).
In fact, women's domestic strikes like the Icelandic one can have a bigger effect on our lives than regular strikes. Because we live in a patriarchy, we aren't always reminded of this. What we are reminded of is how much a woman is going to 'get' out of a divorce.
What this comes down to is how we view marriage. The individualistic, romantic ideal means that we sometimes see marriage as a transaction between two individuals, two sole proprietorships cutting a deal. In reality (and in legal terms), as soon as we are married, we are entering into an LLC, a limited liability partnership, where each partner has a 50% stake in the partnership's struggles and triumphs, its losses - and its wins.
A marriage is not just a romantic relationship (whatever the genders involved), it is an economic partnership. This is a more traditional approach to relationships, and it's still common in collectivist cultures where compatibility between extended families, lifestyles and life goals are more important to spouse selection than, say, physical attractiveness or 'spark'.
It's a very different approach to the individualistic 'winner-takes-all' view of marriage and divorce that undermines us all, and especially harms women.
Instead of talking about how much Melinda is going to 'get', we should be looking at how much Bill and Melinda's partnership made. And like any equal partnership, we should expect the profits to be divided right down the middle. After all, they earned it - both of them.