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IOTM – Audra “Ms Blu” Berger

Jazz Singer Audra ‘Ms. Blu’ Berger Adds #ForeskinPride to Her Repertoire

She Wowed Crowds at NYC Pride 2016 with Soulful Voice, Foreskin-Friendly Messages; Now, She’s Intact America’s Intactivist of the Month for August 2016

From 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington to ‘Bringing Foreskin Back’ Today

Tarrytown, NY—August 15, 2016

It was impossible to miss Intact America’s latest Intactivist of the Month in all her blue-festooned glory in the 2016 New York City Pride Parade on June 26. There she was, jazz singer, songwriter, and storyteller Ms. Blu, standing atop the Intact America float and singing her own foreskin-friendly lyrics to hit songs. (Watch video.)

With her bold, soulful, sexy voice, Ms. Blu’s words to the Donna Summer hit “Hot Stuff,” became “Looking for some foreskin, baby, this evening!” To Marky Mark’s punchy “Good Vibrations,” she added the lyric: “foreskin—it’s a great sensation!” Justin Timberlake may take credit for “SexyBack,” but Ms. Blu sang, “We’re Intact America, and we’re bringing foreskin back!”

Her brash courage and dedication to advancing human rights, forged in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and blazing now as brightly as ever, earned Ms. Blu (Audra Berger is her off-stage name) recognition as Intactivist of the Month by Intact America, the largest national organization advocating against involuntary circumcision of baby boys and a healthy sexual future for all people.

In 1963, when she was 13, she took her budding activism to the great March on Washington. To this day, she recalls an unforgettable experience.
“I kept singing the freedom songs on the bus and was so happy and free!” she says. “When we got to Washington, I remember it was early and the sun had not come up yet. It seemed like I just blinked and when I opened my eyes, people of every color and race and religion were all around me.”

She felt much of the same exhilaration at NYC Pride. “Throughout my life and career, I’ve never stopped believing in the power of music, lyrics and love to make the world a better place,” she says. Ms. Blu vows to return for the parade next year, and each year after that “for as long as it takes to assure all Americans the rights to an intact body.”
“It’s time for doctors, politicians, the uninformed, and religious leaders to stop trying to circumcise America! ‘We the People’ are all perfectly whole.”

About Intact America
Intact America is the largest national advocacy group working to end involuntary circumcision in America, and to ensure a healthy sexual future for all people. Intact America is based in Tarrytown, New York. For more information, visit Intact America at www.intactamerica.org, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Author

Marilyn

Marilyn Fayre Milos, multiple award winner for her humanitarian work to end routine infant circumcision in the United States and advocating for the rights of infants and children to genital autonomy, has written a warm and compelling memoir of her path to becoming “the founding mother of the intactivist movement.” Needing to support her family as a single mother in the early sixties, Milos taught banjo—having learned to play from Jerry Garcia (later of The Grateful Dead)—and worked as an assistant to comedian and social critic Lenny Bruce, typing out the content of his shows and transcribing court proceedings of his trials for obscenity. After Lenny’s death, she found her voice as an activist as part of the counterculture revolution, living in Haight Ashbury in San Francisco during the 1967 Summer of Love, and honed her organizational skills by creating an alternative education open classroom (still operating) in Marin County. 

After witnessing the pain and trauma of the circumcision of a newborn baby boy when she was a nursing student at Marin College, Milos learned everything she could about why infants were subjected to such brutal surgery. The more she read and discovered, the more convinced she became that circumcision had no medical benefits. As a nurse on the obstetrical unit at Marin General Hospital, she committed to making sure parents understood what circumcision entailed before signing a consent form. Considered an agitator and forced to resign in 1985, she co-founded NOCIRC (National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers) and began organizing international symposia on circumcision, genital autonomy, and human rights. Milos edited and published the proceedings from the above-mentioned symposia and has written numerous articles in her quest to end circumcision and protect children’s bodily integrity. She currently serves on the board of directors of Intact America.

Georganne

Georganne Chapin is a healthcare expert, attorney, social justice advocate, and founding executive director of Intact America, the nation’s most influential organization opposing the U.S. medical industry’s penchant for surgically altering the genitals of male children (“circumcision”). Under her leadership, Intact America has definitively documented tactics used by U.S. doctors and healthcare facilities to pathologize the male foreskin, pressure parents into circumcising their sons, and forcibly retract the foreskins of intact boys, creating potentially lifelong, iatrogenic harm. 

Chapin holds a BA in Anthropology from Barnard College, and a Master’s degree in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University. For 25 years, she served as president and chief executive officer of Hudson Health Plan, a nonprofit Medicaid insurer in New York’s Hudson Valley. Mid-career, she enrolled in an evening law program, where she explored the legal and ethical issues underlying routine male circumcision, a subject that had interested her since witnessing the aftermath of the surgery conducted on her younger brother. She received her Juris Doctor degree from Pace University School of Law in 2003, and was subsequently admitted to the New York Bar. As an adjunct professor, she taught Bioethics and Medicaid and Disability Law at Pace, and Bioethics in Dominican College’s doctoral program for advanced practice nurses.

In 2004, Chapin founded the nonprofit Hudson Center for Health Equity and Quality, a company that designs software and provides consulting services designed to reduce administrative complexities, streamline and integrate data collection and reporting, and enhance access to care for those in need. In 2008, she co-founded Intact America.

Chapin has published many articles and op-ed essays, and has been interviewed on local, national and international television, radio and podcasts about ways the U.S. healthcare system prioritizes profits over people’s basic needs. She cites routine (nontherapeutic) infant circumcision as a prime example of a practice that wastes money and harms boys and the men they will become. This Penis Business: A Memoir is her first book.