An American Independence Day Special

Happy Fourth!  The one commonality which all immigrants to America share is that either they or their ancestors all came from another country, in search of a dream; and that includes the very first settlers to the U.S.  According to Wikipedia, the Pilgrims arrived in the United States in the early 1600s, in search of religious freedom, while other arrivals sought economic opportunity.  Whether you came to the U.S. through Ellis Island, J.F. Kennedy Airport, Miami International, Dulles International, Los Angeles International or swam or walked across the border, you or your ancestors came with a purpose.  According to the American Library, more than 12 million people entered the United States through the Ellis Island Immigration Center from 1892 to 1954.

America’s Independence Day, more commonly referred to as the Fourth of July or July Fourth is observed as a Federal holiday in the United States.  Although today is associated with fireworks, family reunions, concerts, parades, carnivals, barbeques, etc. the day actually commemorates the signing of the declaration of independence.  Two Hundred and Forty-One (241) years ago on this day, thirteen colonies (Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island) decided they no longer wanted to be a part of the British Empire, declared themselves a nation of the United States of America.

As immigrants arrived in the United States, they brought with them traditions and cultures. Some of those traditions brought by the early settlers are what are known today as the American traditions and culture, such as blue jeans and plaid shirts or turkey at Thanksgiving.  Immigrants tend to bring with them what they know, and it is what they practice, regardless of where they settle.  As time progressed, the faces of immigrants changed from the look of the early settlers to Africans, Asians and Middle Easterners.  The faces are not the only thing that changed; those more recent immigrants brought their influence of music, foods, dances, clothing, etc.  However the traditions were not all music and clothing or dances.

We should be mindful that the early settlers practiced certain traditions which were later banned and lawfully discontinued.  Some of those traditions helped to spawn the American Civil War between the North and the South, such as slavery.  The settlers declared their independence from the British Empire in 1776.  According to Webster, the meaning of independence is sovereignty, liberty and freedom.  It is what Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and the other signatories of the Declaration of Independence had in mind; sovereignty and freedom for all immigrants, regardless of their place of origin.  Although some despicable practices happened during slavery and the civil war, it is doubtful that Jefferson and Franklin would have condoned the practice of female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C) in this country.  They wrote in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”  Notice the line, “That they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”.  All girls and young women in these fifty states are entitled to those unalienable rights, and that includes the immigrant women and girls of immigrant parents.

America is 241 years old today, and we celebrate it in many ways.  The practice of FGM/C is more than 5,000 years old, and we need to continue to criminalize it, and make those who practice it accountable.  Only two days ago, the Virginia law, criminalizing FGM/C went into effect.  Culture and traditions are poor excuses for this outrageous practice.  This afternoon while Americans fire up their grills and load them up with hotdogs, hamburgers and skewered seafood, they will not think about the thousands of girls that are subjected to the wrath of the exciser’s vicious blade, daily around the world.  We must hope that here in the U.S. excisers and parents of little girls will pause from their cutting to observe the Declaration of Independence.  We hope that the parents and excisers will remember the phrase in the Declaration of Independence, “That they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.”  They must remember that the little girls are indeed entitled to unalienable rights, to not have any parts of their bodies altered, cut, or mutilated in any way whatsoever.  It is something to ponder and consider while you relax at your barbeques this afternoon.

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation wishes you a Happy and Safe Fourth!  Remember, the campaign continues against FGM/C.

Send all comments and questions about the preceding article to or call (703) 818-3787.        

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation’s 2017 Calendar


  • Walk To End FGM registration – Now Open for Registration at, scroll down and click on the pink Register button
  • The launch of the education toolkit – Now Available at
  • Support/Focus Group Meeting – Will return in July
  • Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Mid-Year Board Meeting – July 15th
  • Vacances San Excision (Summer without Cutting) Camp – August 19th
  • Walk To End FGM – October 21st
  • Giving Tuesday – November 28th
  • Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Year-End Board Meeting – December 1st

We will update this calendar as the year progresses.  Please mark your calendars, as we work toward a prosperous 2017.

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation FGM/C Support Group:  Our survivors support group meeting will resume in July.  These meetings are for women who are in the process of healing (emotionally and physically) and wish to receive emotional support in a group setting.  During support group meetings, participants can share any aspect of their stories that they wish to reveal and are showered with unconditional love and support.  In addition to scheduled group meetings, individual support meetings are available, recommended, and encouraged for any survivor who may not be ready or interested in attending group meetings.  To schedule one-on-one meetings, please contact us at the following email address or call 703.818.3787 to inform us of your interest in attending individual sessions with one of our staff members.  Confidentiality, respect, and an abundance of understanding and unconditional acceptance are our fundamental objectives.  Our group facilitator is Willa Jones, Ph.D., a District of Columbia licensed professional counselor with over 20 years of experience.  The Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation staff person, who will also attend group sessions, is Amie Jallah.  You are invited to come out and let us support and celebrate your growth and progress at our group sessions in July, at 3920 Alton Place, NW, Washington, DC  20016 from noon until 1 p.m.  Light refreshments will be served.


Volunteers Needed:  Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation is in search of volunteers for their 4th annual Walk to End FGM in the nation’s capital on Saturday, October 21, 2017.  Volunteers’ responsibilities are: Arrive early, set-up, on-site registration, T-shirt and bag distribution, oversee donations, supervision of the tents, coordinate pre-walk ceremony, seat speakers and guests, coordinate photo-ops and pre-walk interviews.  All volunteers will have free registration for the walk.  If you are interested in being a volunteer for the Walk To End FGM send an email to  and put in the subject line, “Volunteer”.

To volunteer, contact us at or call 703-818-3787.  Register at and Walk to End FGM.

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.  As such, your donations and registration fees are tax deductible to the maximum extent required by law.


Make Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation Your Favorite Charity in 2017

When you shop during the year at Amazon, please select Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation as your charity of choice.  When you #StartWithaSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to Global Woman Peace Foundation. Bookmark the link below and support us every time you shop.

In your charitable contributions and donations in 2017, please consider Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation by either through the DONATE BUTTON below or by sending a check to Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation, 14001A Grumble Jones Court, Centreville, Virginia 20121.  Your generous donations are tax deductible.  Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

Do you have an announcement you would like to place in this section of the newsletter?  Here are the guidelines below:

The guidelines to submit an announcement are to appear in this newsletter:

  • The length of announcement must be no more than a paragraph of 6 lines.
  • Your announcement is free of any charges.
  • Your announcement should be something that pertains to women, girls or students, such as events, walk-a-thons, conferences, etc.
  • If there is an accompanying image, it must be no less than 72 dpi, preferably in jpeg.
  • Your announcement must be received no later than the Thursday 5:00pm prior to the following Tuesday publication.
  • Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation reserves the right to deny a submission if it is not within our guidelines.

Weekly Word-Scramble

Do you enjoy playing with words?  This is a fun way to see how well you can unscramble the following words.  We will reveal the unscrambled words in next week’s edition of the newsletter.  If you enjoyed this, write and give us your feedback to

Can you unscramble the following five words?

This Week’s Scrambled Words







Last Week’s Scrambled Words                               Last Week’s Unscrambled Words

AWL                                                                                       LAW

NALIZEMIRIC                                                                    CRIMINALIZE

LILB                                                                                       BILL

MEANOREDISM                                                                MISDEMEANOR

LONEYF                                                                               FELONY

We give you five scrambled words each week.  We hope you enjoy playing.

How You Can Help & Support Us

Here are some of the ways you can help and support our programs in 2016:

  • Donations (including in-kind donations)
  • Partnering (collaborating in one of our programs and/or events)
  • Joining our Internship or Student-Ambassadorship Program
  • Volunteering
  • Donate through employer payroll deduction (through Your Cause, United Way or the government employee giving program)

The Global Woman Center Has Support Group Sessions

Support Group next session returns in July.  We invite you to join us at 3920 Alton Place, NW, Washington, D.C. 20016 at 12:00pm.  Our Counselor on site is Willa Jones, and Amie Jallah is now in charge of the support group.  For one-on-one meetings, contact us for appointments at or call 703-818-3787.

Important Contacts in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area to Keep Handy

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation               703-818-3787

National Child Abuse Hotline                              800-422-4453

Fairfax County Office for Women                       703-324-5730

Virginia Crime Victim Assistance                        888-887-3418

Montgomery County Abused Persons Program   240-777-4673 (24 hours)

Prince Georges County Sexual Assault                301-618-3154

Prince Georges County Child Advocacy Center  301-909-2089

Baltimore City Child Abuse Center                     410-396-6147

Frederick County Child Advocacy Center           301-600-1758

Howard County Listening Place                          410-313-2630

Washington County Child Advocacy Center       240-420-4308

District of Columbia Metropolitan Police             202-727-9099

Alexandria Victim/Witness Program                    703-746-4100

Arlington County Victim/Witness Program         703-228-7273

Loudon County Victim Witness Program             703-777-0417

Prince William County Victim/Witness                703-392-7083

Attention: The U.S. government opposes FGM/C, no matter the type, degree, or severity, and no matter what the motivation for performing it. The U.S. government considers FGM/C to be a serious human rights abuse, gender-based violence, and, when done to children, a form of child abuse. It is against the law to perform FGM/C in the United States on a girl under the age of 18 or to send or attempt to send her outside the United States so FGM/C can be performed. People who violate this law can face prison time and significant immigration consequences. Additionally, anyone who performs FGM/C on a woman 18 years old or older without her consent may be charged with a crime under other laws.  If someone performed FGM/C on you, you have not violated any U.S. laws and are not at fault, call 1-800-994-9662.