Best known for her hit track “The Joke”, featured on her album By the Way, I Forgive You, Brandi Carlile is also known for her advocacy and humanitarian work.
In 2008, Carlile co-founded Looking Out Foundation, an organization that supports the work of charities such as Honor the Earth, The Bridge School, UNICEF, The Women’s Funding Alliance and Doctors Without Borders.
The Grammy winner was slotted to speak and perform at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit 2019, which runs from Monday until Wednesday this week. But on Monday morning the American singer took to Twitter to renounce her inclusion in the event because it was announced Kirstjen Nielsen was going to be in attendance.
Nielsen is the former United States Secretary of Homeland Security and the leader of Trump’s family separation policy. The policy enacted at the U.S. southern border ensured that children of illegal immigrants would be separated from their parents and supervised by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Considering Nielsen is on the speaker list of this summit, Carlile did not want to attend the event and shared on Twitter: “I don’t think that human rights violators and merit-based abusers of displaced people should be given a platform to ‘reimagine’ history. Ever.”
Carlile continued by sharing, “The atrocity of family separation at our Southern border needs to go down in history as one of the United States of America’s most merciless acts. Respectfully, I absolutely cannot support Kirstjen Nielsen having a voice among the most powerful and inspiring women in America. Her access to power is righteously over.”
Carlile is receiving a mixed response on Twitter, with many followers appreciating her advocacy and others with more constructive feedback. One follower writes, “Voices are respected and heard more loudly when you show up at a place where others are different than you. Sometimes “common ground” comes from something simple – which then may spur a discussion that may change the person you disagree with most.” Carlile responded with:
Carlile appreciates her platform and uses it to speak on behalf of people who may not have the same access to speak out, or as it says on the Looking Out’s website: “Looking Out amplifies the impact of music by empowering those without a voice.”