July 24, 2013
Friends and Family,
I’m sharing several emails between Ms. Shell-Duncan and me. Ms. Shell-Duncan is a professor of anthology at the University of Washington. She was noted in a recent New York Times article regarding her FGM work in Kenya. So I contacted her.
It is so pleasing when I get positive responses like the one below. I’ll keep you posted if anything develops from this interaction, besides selling a copy of Driving the Birds. My goal, after my transplant, to make many contacts like this in university settings. I need an outreach assistant! Any volunteers?
Also note: Freedom: From the Secrets of my Liberian Childhood is premiering on LVTV 3 in La Verne and San Dimas tomorrow, Thursday, at 7:00 pm. It is available nationally, so those of you who are not in the La Verne area can contact your local community TV stations and request they show it.
Jeanette and I are very appreciative of the University of La Verne for producing this show! Thank you, ULV!
Have a great day!
—– Forwarded Message —–
From: Russell Traughber <email@example.com>
To: Bettina Shell-Duncan
Cc: Jeanette Mills
Sent: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 5:34 AM
Subject: Re: FGM
Good morning, Bettina,
Thank for your interest in Jabonkah’s story Driving the Birds. The TV show that ULV produced for me: Freedom: From the Secrets of my Liberian Childhood, will premiere tomorrow night, Thursday, on our local community channel, and it will also be available to the rest of the nation. Tomorrow will be a great day for Jabonkah-Jeanette because stopping the cutting of girls and women was her goal in digging deep into her painful past.
Please let me know how you find DTB and thank you again for your interest.
From: Bettina Shell-Duncan
To: ‘Russell Traughber’ <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 12:55 PM
Subject: RE: FGM
Thank you for reaching out, and letting me know about your work and activism. Important work, to be sure. I look forward to reading your book.
All the best,
Professor, Department of Anthropology and
Adjunct Professor of Global Health
University of Washington
Department of Anthropology
Seattle, WA 98195-3100
From: Russell Traughber [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, July 22, 2013 1:39 PM
July 22, 2013
Greetings, Ms. Shell-Duncan.
I just read Ms. Dugger’s article in today’s NYT about the gradual decline in FGM, as reported by the United Nations Children’s Fund, wherein you were mentioned as a source about FGM in Kenya. After writing Jabonkah Sackey’s Liberian childhood memoir, DRIVING THE BIRDS, I became an anti-FGM advocate.
If you would like to learn more about Jabonkah’s story, the University of La Verne, La Verne, CA, produced an interview with Jabonkah that is available on YouTube and linked to the home page of my website at Shadwell Publishing.
La Verne TV will be airing Jabonkah’s interview: Freedom: From the Secrets of my Liberian Childhood on our local community channel and will also be making it available nationwide. My goal in asking ULV for their assistance to produce this show was to raise awareness about FGM here in the USA. They graciously obliged me.
Many whom I know personally and who have read Jabonkah’s memoir were shocked that this practice continues. Thus, my current efforts are educational here in the USA and in Liberia. On my blog, which is also linked to my website, I detail what Jabonkah and I are doing in Liberia to help stop FGM.
Since Jabonkah’s interview, which was made several months ago, Jabonkah has learned that her mother is alive, and Jabonkah is leaving, soon, for Liberia. She may be in peril, because she exposed the Sande’s secrets in her memoir. Ironically in her interview, she says that she can never return to Liberia. But she said this before she knew that her mother was alive.
Jabonkah and I are giving fifty percent of our profit of our on-line book sales to Church Aid Inc. of Monrovia, Liberia, Facebook Page, as our way of being active in helping stop FGM. If Jabonkah and I can be of assistance to your work at the University of Washington, then that would please us.
My best regards,
Author, Driving The Birds