Dear Secretary Perez,
More than 27 million women shared their experiences of sexual assault, tweeting in the wake of Donald Trump’s “locker room talk.”
The #NotOkay movement, initiated by social media maven Kelly Oxford, has crystallized around women’s stories of sexual violence.
Secretary Perez, you are a scheduled keynote speaker at the Conscious Capitalism CEO Summit, in Austin, Texas, Oct 18–20.
Would you please speak up about the following matter?:
The New York Times reported in December on accused sex abuser, former rabbi Marc Gafni who described one of his accusers:
“She was 14 going on 35, and I never forced her.”
“A co-founder of Whole Foods, John Mackey, a proponent of conscious capitalism, calls Mr. Gafni ‘a bold visionary.’ He is a chairman of the executive board of Mr. Gafni’s center, and he hosts board meetings at his Texas ranch.”
The Washington Post reported on coordinated protests at Whole Foods stores in New York City and Los Angeles in May.
Mackey publicly pledged his loyalty to Gafni in June, as reported by the Forward.
Experts, including advocacy leaders, attorneys, and professors from Harvard Business School, Columbia University, and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, have criticized Mackey and Conscious Capitalism, as noted in the article on Feminine Collective, Conscious Capitalism: This is Rape Culture.
Proposed legislation, the Child Victims Act of New York State — statute of limitations reform for claims of child sexual abuse — heralds the possibility of justice for survivors. Among them is Sara Kabakov, the then 14-year-old victim, the subject of Marc Gafni’s confession, as published by The Times.
Sara’s first-person account of her ordeal appeared in the Forward in January: I was 13 when Marc Gafni’s abuse began.
Last week, she said she was reminded of “the most painful and unspeakable of experiences.” 27 million women know how Sara feels.
Kelly White, CEO of the SAFE Alliance in Austin, wrote in an article last week, A Culture of Complicit Silence:
“That, I have decided, is at the core of much of the intransigence surrounding the problems — the crimes — of sexual assault and abuse. We have all learned to stay silent.”
Secretary Perez, will you take this opportunity to speak up, so that Sara Kabakov and all survivors of sexual assault feel supported?
Will you be part of the solution to change the culture, bringing an to end sexual violence?
Thank you for your consideration.