I am grateful to be part of a community of people who are working to end the most basic and malignant form of violence against children – forced genital cutting.

On the one hand, I find it incomprehensible that there are those – parents, doctors, religious practitioners – who decree it their right to inflict this barbarity on a child. On the other hand, I find it not only gratifying but inevitable that, as a society, we are moving toward a greater appreciation of what is right:

  •  Basic common sense (“you want to cut off what?!?)”
  •  Non-intervention when nothing is wrong in the first place (“Don’t just do something; stand there!”).
  •  Acknowledgment of and respect for the rights and wishes of children (“10 out of 10 babies say NO to circumcision.”)

I am grateful to know and work with some of the finest people in the world, in our efforts to end infant and childhood circumcision. The list is long (and growing), but I will mention just a few. First, Marilyn Milos, who is my daily inspiration as well as a fount of infinite knowledge, support, humor and kindness; and Dean Pisani, who believed in us and saw the potential for a new kind of organization –  one in which the dissemination of ideas could occur at an unprecedented range and speed due to the exploding phenomenon of social networking.  Second, the people I work with each day – Amy Callan, Jennifer Konig and  Ted Herman – to craft the message behind Intact America’s work and keep things moving along. Third, to every single person who has taken action on an Intact America page, speaking out and donating to the cause. Finally, to all of my intactivist colleagues who offer their support (and criticism), who respond instantly when their help is needed, who write every day to keep each other posted, who volunteer, and who remain intensely interested and involved because of their confidence in our collective mission.

I am grateful that, together, we are making the world a better place.

Georganne Chapin