Decision Maker

Michelle Obama

  • First Lady of the United States

Michelle Obama, an American lawyer and writer, is the wife of the 44th and current President of the United States, Barack Obama, and the first African-American First Lady of the United States.


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Victory
Petitioning John Kerry (Secretary of State)

End Child Marriage, Sign the Executive Order!

When I was 14 years old, I was kidnapped for a marriage to a much older man, as depicted in the film Difret. On the day I was abducted, I was raped by my would be "husband." I knew I had to fight back and escape the first chance I got. I was taken to a hut and locked up. When I received another visit from my abductor I saw my chance. When he was suddenly called away, he left his gun leaning against the wall and the door unlocked. My father had taught me how to fire a gun, so I took it and ran. When he and his friends chased me, I shot him. It was the most terrifying, horrible ordeal of my entire life -- and I'm one of the lucky ones. I was accused of murder and after 2 years in the courts, the judge ruled that it was, in fact, self-defense.  My trial led to a re-examination of this tradition and the Ethiopian government is now working to end child marriage and female genital cutting by 2025.  In addition, the African Union recently launched a campaign to end child marriage across the continent. I am now dedicating my life to working on this issue and to give voice to the screams of unheard rural women and girls. I don’t want to see the same story happen to any more girls. And yet, it still is. You can help. Please join me in ending child marriage around the world by signing this petition, asking President Obama to sign the executive order that would help prevent an estimated 39,000 child marriages every day. This petition is supported by Global Fund for Women, Ms Magazine, Equality Now and Truth Aid. The Call to Action We need the Obama Administration and the State Department to deliver what was promised: a comprehensive strategy for ending child marriage. In March 2013, President Obama signed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) that included a commitment to ending child marriage worldwide. The law requires the State Department to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to end child marriage and to direct U.S. foreign assistance to programs in countries where child marriage is prevalent. We are asking that this strategy be created and announced in 2015, and that it include the following whole-of government strategy: +      Our foreign assistance agency, the U.S. Agency for International Development, would be directed to craft evidence-based, stand-alone programs to delay the age of marriage, foster girls’ agency and choice and promote equitable and rights-based societies that give girls the tools they need to thrive, while also leveraging our considerable investments in such areas as health, education and food security to ensure these programs are being fully utilized to address related elements of the practice. +      State Department diplomats on the world stage and in bilateral talks with countries that have high rates of child marriage would be directed to raise the issue of child marriage as a U.S. foreign policy priority, and would work to ensure that carrots—and, where necessary, sticks—are deployed to encourage meaningful action by all countries to end this global scourge. Such a strategy would recognize and institutionalize the fact that child, early and forced marriage impacts the whole life of the girl and that holistic, rights-based approaches are therefore necessary to end it. +      A draft Strategy is sitting at the Department of State. While the President and the First Lady have recently launched an important effort to provide education for at-risk girls globally, until the President signs an Executive Order giving these efforts the full force of law, we cannot be certain that these efforts will be fully implemented and funded. And thus they will not make any real difference in the lives of girls all over the world. Every day that we wait for the implementation of the new law to become reality, another 39,000 girls are married. This is unacceptable. When girls are forced into marriage early, entire communities miss out on their potential as change makers, economic drivers, and leaders. We must end child marriage to allow girls to realize their full potential in order to achieve the world we want. We need a coordinated, whole-of government strategy immediately. You can help. Tell President Obama to issue an Executive Order directing the U.S. government to use its full force to protect and empower the world’s girls and end child marriage once and for all. In U.S. Theaters October 23rd, 2015. Get tickets here: bit.ly/DifretInTheaters 

Aberash Bekele with Truth Aid
155,509 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Michelle Obama

From the grassroots women leaders of Congo to the women leaders of the White House

“We have had enough. We call upon our global sisterhood to take action. We will not be quiet until REAL Peace is upon us.” On November 20, 2012, M23 rebels seized Goma, a major city in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, reigniting a war that has ravaged the region for 16 years. Neema Namadamu and a group of grassroots women leaders who call themselves the Maman Shujaa ('Hero Women' in Swahili) are calling on you and US woman leaders Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, Valerie Jarrett, and Michelle Obama to take immediate action in solidarity with the women of the Congo. I was born in a very remote village in South Kivu Province, eastern Congo. I belong to a marginalized tribe and I am crippled from Polio. But none of those things characterize me. I have a vision for my country—a new and peaceful Congo—that compels me, and its destiny is driving me. War has ravaged my homeland for 16 years. Today, eastern Congo is labeled the worst place on earth to be a woman. We have been brutalized by our brothers who perpetrate violence on the bodies of their sisters, daughters, and mothers in the worst imaginable ways.  A woman is 134 times more likely to be raped in my region than a woman in the United States. Several months ago, soldiers indiscriminately beat my own daughter. Congo is home to the second largest rain forest in the world, behind Brazil, and 60% of all Africa’s forests. It has enough hydropower potential to power all of Africa. It has an estimated 24 trillion dollars of mineral wealth, far greater un-monetized wealth than any other nation in the world. But the mothers of its children live in poverty, in fear of being raped, daily losing their sons and husbands to endless wars. We are brutalized in unconscionable ways by monsters wearing military uniforms. We are tired of this. We have had enough. We know that we can create peaceful, sustainable communities in Congo through a holistic new model that ends violence, poverty, and the destruction of nature altogether. This July I set up a women’s internet café and media center and gathered grassroots women leaders across my region to discuss the future of our country. Within two months we had nearly 200 women activists reporting about life in war-torn DRC through the action media network World Pulse. We began speaking out—demanding the Congo we hold in our hearts to manifest all around us. As women, our solutions are inclusive, as they are rooted in family and community. But last week rebels took hold of Goma, inflicting more horrors upon its women and children—even pregnant women—and threatened to advance to our area. The region has been destabilized by this deadly power play and 140,000 people have been displaced.  We as women must join together now because WE CAN. Even in remote Congo we have become connected to our global sisterhood. We who are One with the 35 million+ women of the DRC, who are One with the 3.5 billion+ women of the world, are standing for an end to all violence and aggression in Eastern DRC. We will not be quiet until real peace is upon us.   We, the grassroots women leaders of eastern DRC, call upon our female counterparts in the White House—our sisters Secretary Hillary Clinton, Ambassador Susan Rice, Senior White House Advisor Valerie Jarrett, and First Lady Michelle Obama—to speak with your President on our behalf and ensure a true peace process begins in our homeland. We ask for the immediate appointment of a special presidential envoy to work with the African Union and United Nations to forge a peace process that addresses both the immediate crisis and the underlying longer-term economic and political interests of the parties involved. Only through a mediation of this level can we hope to establish resolution among the numerous states, rebel armies, and special interests who have long fueled this conflict and humanitarian crisis. And, it is essential that any action ensures Congolese women—who are uniquely positioned to act on behalf of family and community—have a voice in the peace process and a seat at the table. STAND WITH US! Sincerely, Neema Namadamu and the Maman Shujaa (‘Hero Women’) of the Democratic Republic of Congo  

Neema Namadamu
108,612 supporters
Petitioning Denise Nyakeru Tshisekedi, Ida sawyer, Chantal Mulop, Denise DUSAUCHOY, United Nations, European Commission, Michelle Obama, UNICEF, Donald J. Trump

Exigeons la condamnation de tous les violeurs collectifs de la mineure de 13 ans en #rdc

KINSHASA : AFFAIRE VIOL COLLECTIF SUR UNE ÉLÈVE DE 13 ANS DE L'ÉCOLE REV. KIM, LE VERDICT EST TOMBÉ SUR LES 14 GARÇONS : 2 condamnations et 5 acquittements. Les 5 acquittés sont notamment ceux qui ont doigté la fille et ceux qui ont introduit leurs verges dans sa bouche, 7 autres dont on a préféré flouer les noms parce qu'ils sont fils des personnalités qui ont acheté la justice. La fille et sa soeur ont été renvoyées de l'école alors que les violeurs ont passés leurs examens sans problème. Rappelons que les faits se sont produits le 17 Mai dernier à l'initiative d'un groupe d'élève de ladite école qui avaient pris en location un appartement à Gombe pour organiser un barbecue. Vexé par l'attitude de la victime d'inciter ses amies à quitter le lieu, l'élève Osée Autsaï (Petits-fils du Sénateur Autsaï) dilua de la drogue dans la bouteille de soda que prenait la fille qui la paralysa. Osée n'avait plus qu'à la conduire dans la chambre de l'appartement, abuser d'elle, la filmer puis appeler ses amis pour en faire ce qu'ils veulent. Parmi les violeurs, outre Osée Autsaï, il y a également le fils de l'honorable Mike Mukebay et d'autres députés nationaux. P.S.: Nous continuons à croire que la justice est toujours partisane dans ce pays. 10.000$ payé par les parents d'un violeur pour que soit acquitté leur fils ne peut remettre à cette fille sa virginité. Exigeons la condamnation de tous les violeurs. Je suis une mère, j'ai le devoir sacré de me protéger et protéger ma progéniture. Mobilisons-nous afin que la justice fasse son travail et que ces enfants aient une sentence exemplaire. UN VIOL EST UN VIOL, TOLÉRANCE ZÉRO.

Denise DUSAUCHOY
58,283 supporters
Petitioning Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, USCIS , Jeanne Shaheen, US State Department, Tim Kaine, David Perdue, Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Jack Reed, Richard Blumenthal, Mazie K. Hirono, Angus S. King Jr., Mar...

Save Aysha and Her Family from Being Executed by the Taliban

Aysha and her family are in critical danger because Aysha's father, Muhammad, is a heroic Afghan interpreter who worked for the US mission in Afghanistan for more than 10 years and was threatened with death by the Taliban. As NBC News recently reported, the Department of Homeland Security has been stonewalling several members of Congress for nearly a year on why Muhammad and his family were denied visas. The family’s case was recently re-opened, but they remain in critical danger as they wait. As a US military interpreter, Muhammad directly saved American soldiers' lives, including one time he dashed into an ambushed vehicle under Taliban fire. His military supervisors praised his work ethic, dedication, and trustworthiness, and his incredible skill of fluently speaking six languages made him indispensable on Special Forces night raids on Taliban insurgents. But the Taliban considers him a criminal and is working hard to find and kill Muhammad, his wife, and his young daughters. The whole family has been living in hiding for nearly five years. They are living in daily fear of being discovered and killed by the Taliban. Even the children are unable to leave their apartment. Leaks in the roof have made the young girls sick on several occasions from getting infections from bacteria in the water or getting cold in the winter. Since the family is in hiding, Muhammad is unable to work. If you are able to contribute to supporting the Kamran family while we work to get them visas, please visit our Go Fund Me page. Meet Aysha, Muhammad, and the rest of their family in our 2-min YouTube video and help us by sharing the video (especially with your representatives in Congress). As I wrote about in USA Today, my family and I tried to sponsor Aysha and her family for humanitarian parole to save their lives, but the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) denied the cases despite the strong support of a former Navy Lieutenant who personally worked with Muhammad in Afghanistan. Aysha's aunt and uncle in the United States offered to care for her and her sisters, but USCIS refused to even save the kids, making the ridiculous claim that Aysha and her sisters are “security concerns.” On May 22nd, Representatives Jamie Raskin, Tom Reed, Pramila Jayapal, and John Garamendi sent a letter to USCIS reiterating their request for a briefing on the family’s case. Previously, in July 2018, 38 bipartisan members of Congress, sent a letter to former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen asking to review the reason that the family's refugee case was denied. USCIS took several months to respond to the letter, and they are still refusing to answer Congress’s questions about why the case was denied then Secretary Nielsen promising a briefing to Rep. Raskin in December 2018. USCIS has also ignored Senate offices that have contacted them about the case. Four bipartisan members of Congress then sent a letter on February 14th, 2019 demanding to know why the family's case was denied. In response, USCIS re-opened the case but is still ignoring Congress’s request to review the reason for the denial. Tell USCIS that ignoring Congress is unacceptable. USCIS must approve Muhammad and his family's case to save them from the Taliban before it is too late. USCIS doesn't question that leaving this family behind is a death sentence. They just don't care enough about refugees to even save a toddler from the Taliban. Muhammad and his family's story is summarized below and has been covered by NBC News, The Christian Post, USA Today, McClatchy DC, The Sacramento Bee, RedState, The Ithaca Voice (here, here, and here), No One Left Behind, and the Evangelical Immigration Table. You can also hear Muhammad's story in his own words in our 4-min YouTube video or in a recent interview on The Michael Calderin Show. Please contact your representatives in Congress ask them to help with the case. You can email me (save.aysha@gmail.com) for more information. If you want to contribute to supporting the Kamran family while we work to get them visas, please visit our Go Fund Me page. When the US military mostly pulled out of Afghanistan in 2014, the Taliban gained strength in Afghanistan and killed many interpreters or their family members in revenge. One of Muhammad's brothers and a nephew, Sahil, who was also an interpreter, were shot and left for dead in an assassination attempt on Muhammad and his family. After the Taliban ambush, Muhammad fled his home district, just in time to escape a second Taliban attack that destroyed their family home. Consequently, Muhammad lost all contact with US military personnel who could have helped him apply for an SIV visa. When I learned about Muhammad and his family's plight over a year ago, I was determined to do everything possible to save their lives. Muhammad had tried to apply to the US as a refugee on his own, but he was denied for “discretionary security reasons,” a very common problem for former military interpreters and their families. When Muhammad's refugee case was denied, he was devastated and lost all hope for saving his life and his family's lives. He said the only option left for him was to surrender to the Taliban, thinking that after the Taliban tortured and killed him, they would stop looking for his children. I told him not to give up and promised him to find a way to save their lives. Please help me keep my promise to Muhammad to save his life and his family's lives. They do not deserve to suffer and die because of Muhammad's service to the US military. My family hired a lawyer and filed a humanitarian parole case to sponsor Muhammad and his family to come live in the US while he works to get permanent, legal status in the US. Our humanitarian parole case for them may be our last chance to save their lives. In what our lawyer says is the most egregious case she has ever seen, USCIS denied Muhammad and his family's humanitarian parole cases because his refugee case had been denied and without even bothering to figure out why the refugee case had been denied. Thus, they denied Muhammad's humanitarian parole case for “discretionary reasons” without even knowing what those discretionary reasons were. This is effectively a death sentence for the entire family. When our lawyer pleaded with USCIS to at least let Muhammad's young daughters come live with their aunt and uncle in the US, the director of the Humanitarian Affairs Branch of USCIS, John Bird, refused to approve any of the family's cases and made the absurd claim that granting a one-year visa to anyone in the family, including Muhammad's 2- and 4-year-old daughters, was a security concern. Because of USCIS's policy and Muhammad's service to the US military, Muhammad's children were literally born with a death sentence. Mr. Bird acknowledges that Muhammad and his family meet all the criteria for humanitarian parole, and he does not question that they will be killed if left in their current situation. He just does not care enough about Muslim refugees to even save a toddler from the Taliban.  Worse yet, in October 2017 USCIS granted humanitarian parole to family members of Las Zetas drug cartel members who murdered US ICE agents in Mexico, so that the family members of the murderers could attend a trial in Washington, D.C. Thus, USCIS is literally treating Muhammad and his family worse than criminals. Sign the petition to tell USCIS to approve Muhammad's and his family's cases quickly. Muhammad is a hero who faithfully served the US military for over 9 years and is now in grave danger because the Taliban is determined to get revenge. He has already lost everything except his and his family's lives because of his service to America, but he is still proud of his choice to work for the US military. All he wants in return is the chance to bring his daughters to safety and to give them a future. If USCIS does not re-open and approve his case, he will be left behind to be killed by the same terrorists that he risked his life to fight for so many years. Please call your Congressional representatives and ask them to support our effort asking DHS for information on why they denied Muhammad's case. If you need contact information on your Congressional representatives, use this link to look them up: https://whoismyrepresentative.com/ Email me (Kristy Perano) at save.aysha (at) gmail.com to find out how you can help or for more information on Muhammad's case. Please also email me if you know Muhammad personally or if you know any government officials or reporters who may be able to help raise public awareness of Muhammad's case.

Kristy Perano
50,945 supporters
Petitioning Papa Francisco, Juan Carlos Varela, Iglesia Católica, Arzobispo , Arzobispo de Panamá, Asamblea Nacional de Panama, El Vaticano, Jornada Mundial de la Juventud, jmj , El País, Miami Herald, CNN, LA...

Que le devuelvan la Hacienda Santa Monica a los niños pobres de Panamá.

En Panamá hay medio millón de niños pobres, 200,000 niños viven en extrema pobreza. Muchos de estos niños solo tienen una madre que sirve como Madre y Padre a la vez. Estas guerreras Panameñas se levantan todos los días a las 4am con una sonrisa en cara para tomar un pésimo sistema de transporte y llegar a un trabajo donde les pagan mal. Ese es el Panamá que vivimos, el Panamá de dos países, el Panamá de los que tienen dinero y el Panamá de los que no tienen. Se acabo la clase media. Se acabo la justicia, y se acabo la solidaridad. Vivimos en un país donde las leyes se aplican para los pobres y no para los ricos. Pero de vez en cuando llega a Panamá un hombre rico, con un corazón grande. Esa es la historia del Sr. Charles Lucom, un hombre Norte Americano que hizo su plata con mucho esfuerzo y sudor en Panamá. Y cuando murió, decidió dejarle en su testamento a los Niños Pobres de Panamá un regalo. Les regaló la Hacienda Santa Mónica. La Hacienda Santa Mónica queda en Antón y colinda con Buenaventura y Juan Hombrón. La Hacienda tiene alrededor de 700 hectáreas de terreno (que valen más de $800 millones) y se le fue regalada a los niños pobres de Panamá por el Sr Lucom como dice su testamento. Como los niños pobres de Panamá no cuentan con un representante legal, el Sr Alberto Vallarino y su pandilla de abogados deciden asaltar a los 500,000 niños pobres de Panamá y robarles la Hacienda Santa Mónica. El Sr Vallarino con sus secuaces utilizaron el corrupto sistema Judicial Panameño y cambiaron el Testamento del Sr. Lucom y se quedaron con Hacienda Santa Mónica.  Queremos que se haga justicia y le devuelvan la Hacienda Santa Mónica a los niños pobres de Panamá como lo quiso el Sr. Lucom en su testamento. Gracias, Los niños pobres de Panamá.

Niños pobres De Panamá
41,622 supporters
Petitioning Ralph S. Northam, Michelle Obama

JUSTICE FOR ELIJAH NICHOLS

On September 28, 2017 Elijah decided to take a break from studying, he wanted some social interaction so he decided to go to a predominantly white fraternity party with some friends. When Elijah walked through he saw people partying, smoking and drinking alcohol which was given by fraternity brothers from behind the desk, they were handing out liquor and beer. Elijah asked 1 of the fraternity brothers if it was ok if he were to roll a joint, he was told he could so he went to another room as instructed. When Elijah went to the other room he saw 2 white guys and 1 female in the room and saw a white substance which he didn’t know what it was. Once Elijah saw this, he is now being asked to leave. While he is trying to leave he is yanked up off of his feet placed in a head lock, while his feet is lifted off of the ground, unable to yell for help, unable to breath. This is happening while another guy is punching him. Elijah saw fit to defend himself as he went into survival mode out of fear, thinking that he wasn't going to make it out alive. Elijah was finally able to get away from his attackers after he defended himself, as he was running he was being chased while being called a nigger, then he was tripped by the third attacker. These guys bullied Elijah! On December 17, 2018 an African American man named Elijah Nichols , whom turned 18 years old on August 6, 2017 was handed down a 45 year sentence. The judge suspended the 45 years, however the sentence is over his head for 45 years, being that the sentence is not dismissed. Elijah must serve 10 years immediately, with 20 years of probation following his release for stabbing three white guys whom were attacking him while attending a fraternity party in Radford, VA. Elijah Nichols is a teen father, was the captain of the William Fleming varsity basketball team and he graduated with honors. It has always been instilled in Elijah to go to college to make something of himself and not to become a statistic. Being a father at 17 years old did not stop Elijah from wanting more out of life and to be a role model for his young son. Elijah decided to go to Radford University so that he would be able to come home on the weekends to be able to continue to have a relationship with his baby boy and be able to raise him. Elijah is being punished for defending himself against 3 attackers, which is unfair. The judge who sentenced Elijah went over the 1st time offenders guidelines of 3.5 years to 8 years. This judge is known for handing down harsher sentences to  people of color. The day that Elijah was sentenced the judge told him that " I am going to use you as an example". The commonwealth prosecuting attorney asked the judge for a sentence of 5 years which the judge disregarded. Elijah has never been in trouble, this is his first offense. The judge did not take any of that into consideration. While Elijah spoke and his character witnesses spoke, which consisted of a police office whom is a former Carolina Panther, a Doctor of Theology, his mother and grandfather. The judge closed his eyes and nodded off showing his disinterest in their statements. If Elijah would not have defended himself, because of the location and the type of community Radford Virginia is. Just as they are sticking together with their story of the incident, if this would have been about a young black male found beaten or even dead no one would have seen anything amongst a large group of onlookers who are afraid of these fraternity brother bullies, they would have turned a blind eye and nothing would have been done. Even a strong witness for Elijah was afraid for their safety as the detective went around campus with a picture of them asking students is they knew who the person is, due to this it caused this witness to remove themselves from being a witness in Elijah's case. If the roles were reversed and it was 3 African American men attacking 1 white male, they would have been called thugs and the white man defending himself against them would have been considered justified. These are the words of Elijah Nichols, for I am standing in proxy for him telling his story. Elijah is your son, he is your grandson, he is your brother, he is your nephew! We are asking for Elijah to be released on time served as he defended himself while being attacked.

Kindra Nichols
27,231 supporters
Closed
Petitioning Stéphane Le Foll, François Hollande, Michelle Obama, Oficina de Protección Animal de la Municipalidad de Providencia, International Animal Rescue

Stop au massacre, stop YULIN.

Aidez-nous a arrêté ce massacre. Chère citoyens le festival de la viande de chien et chat de Yulin est un festival ayant lieu le 21 juin dédié à la viande de chien et de chat, situé dans la ville de Yulin dans la province de Guangxi en Chine. Il date des années 90. Lors des préparations du festival, plusieurs milliers de chiens et de chat sont d'abord enlevé (contre le pleins grais de leurs familles) voir kidnappé à leur famille pour ensuite être enfermé dans de toute petite cages sans de nourriture ou eau, ils sont ensuite maltraités de façon attroce (tremper dans de l'eau bouillante, frappé avec des marteaux, ont leurs coupe les pattes, les pendres, les traîner par terre, les jeter, les frapper, les fouettés... et ceux tout en restant vivant), le sang, les pleure et les cris de ces animaux en détresse bourdonne dans ces endroits, puis ils sont ensuite abattus pour l'occasion, ces pauvres animaux souffre le martyre. En signant cette pétition vous vous engagez à soutenir cette cause et à la défendre, parlez-en autour de vous, sensibilisés les personnes autour de vous, plus nous serons nombreux plus cette cause fera parler d'elle et ils arrêteront ce massacre, s'il vous plaît signé  car en signant vous agissez. Le festival fait l'objet dans les années 2010 de plusieurs polémiques et actions des défenseurs de la cause animale, qui militent pour son annulation, notamment après l'arrêt d'un festival similaire à Jinhua Hutou.

Iness LAKHEL
23,892 supporters