Blog

AHA Foundation’s 2018 accomplishments wouldn’t have been possible without you, my partners, my extended family. Thank you for your faith that we can do better. Thank you for understanding that by working together, we can make the U.S. a place of safety and freedom for all, a place where girls have the ability to grow up and choose their own futures.


When I reflect about our work in 2018, I want to state that I’m incredibly grateful for Ayaan Hirsi Ali, her courage, her candor and her intellect. She inspires me to work harder to ban female genital mutilation and child marriages in the U.S. as well as to engage in the difficult dialogue on college campuses about how to confront violent Islamism.

I’m grateful for our Board of Directors, who are both engaged with our work and generous with their resources. I appreciate our hard working team, who work long hours and are driven to fight for our causes. And I’m especially thankful to all of the large and small donors. When I speak with them, these donors demonstrate their dedication to our mission and devotion to our Founder. I’m humbled by their words of encouragement.


George Zarubin, Executive Director


I’m grateful for the excitement I see from our campus fellows in taking on the women’s rights issues that are so ingrained in my heart. I’m grateful for the passion shown by our pro bono attorney, who worked tirelessly and selflessly to stand up for the safety of little girls in our country, when he worked with us to submit an amicus curiae brief in the federal FGM case currently being tried in Michigan courts.

I’m grateful for legislators who care more about human rights than they do about what is politically smart, and who see that protecting women and girls is nonpartisan. I’m grateful for survivors who have the strength to become advocates, and I’m honored to fight with them against child marriage, forced marriage, and FGM.

– Amanda Parker, Chief Financial Officer and Senior Director


I am so grateful for our courageous and passionate campus fellows and for all of our donors who have made this important program possible.


I have watched our fellows grow immensely as they’ve tackled important, but controversial, issues on their campuses. They work hard every day to promote dialogue on their campuses regarding the rights of all women, to counter extremism, both violent and non-violent, and to support the rights of all people. It has been so inspiring to watch our fellows fearlessly speak out against hate, while also working to heal political and ideological divisions on their campuses and in the public sphere more broadly.

 – Julia O’Donnell, Campus Program Coordinator


This is my first year working at AHA Foundation, and in such a short time I have so much to be thankful for. 

I am inspired daily by messages from supporters asking how they can help make the U.S. a safer place for women and girls. I am thankful for our supporters who are dedicated to our mission and to a better future for survivors and at-risk girls.

In my position, I also speak with survivors and interview them for our monthly newsletter. This unique opportunity allows me to amplify their voices and reveal their courageous stories to the public. I am grateful that I can help survivors’ stories be heard across the U.S., and educate others on the reality and harms of the cultural practices we fight.

– Natalie Rivera, Marketing and Program Assistant 


This Thanksgiving season, I am incredibly grateful to all the women and girls who have connected with me. I am thankful for their trust and faith in me and our organization, and their willingness to share their stories of pain and triumph.

I personally write with a grateful heart because these women and girls are absolutely inspiring to me. They face layers of challenges many of us can only imagine and yet they fight with all their heart, mind, and soul to create safe lives.

I have met and gotten to know some of the most resilient women and girls, and I know that I am a better person for having met them. They teach me everyday to believe in oneself even when doubt is overwhelming, to be persistent despite the endless setbacks, and to remember that no matter how much darkness there is, there is always light.

To all the women and girls I have spoken to, thank you.

– Namele Gutierrez, Mental health professional providing direct assistance to girls at risk


November 19, 2018

Our Thanksgiving Message To You

AHA Foundation’s 2018 accomplishments wouldn’t have been possible without you, my partners, my extended family. Thank you for […]
November 15, 2018

Cultural Practice Performed to “Complete” a Girl, Haunts Her Life

The image above is a stock image. Female genital mutilation (FGM) or female genital cutting (FGC) is a […]
November 7, 2018

Supporters Dedicate Their Birthdays to AHA Foundation

Facebook allows its users to dedicate their birthday to a charity of their choice. This means you can […]
November 7, 2018

Update on the First Female Genital Mutilation Case in the U.S.: Judge Grants AHA Foundation’s Motion to File Amicus Curiae Brief

United States of America v. Nagarwala, et al (17-20274) Eastern District of Michigan United States District Court At […]
October 17, 2018

Doctoral Student Calls Out Dangerous Gap in U.S. Psychology Programs

Sheriece Hooks is currently a student in clinical psychology, and holds both a M.A. in clinical psychology from […]
October 15, 2018

Federal Loophole Responsible for Countless Child Marriages in the U.S.

The United States Department of State calls child marriage “gender-based violence.”  The United States Agency for International Development […]
October 9, 2018

After Surviving Rape and Child Marriage, Sherry Johnson Strives to Protect Children

My name is Sherry Johnson. I was raised and still live in Florida. That is where I survived […]
September 26, 2018

Update on the First Female Genital Mutilation Case in the U.S. – AHA Foundation Files Amicus Brief After Defense Challenges Constitutionality of Anti-FGM Law

AHA Foundation filed an amicus curiae brief this week in support of the federal anti-FGM law after defense […]
September 20, 2018

The U.S. Keeps Turning a Blind Eye to Child Marriage at Home

Child marriage remains legal in 48 states. Delaware and New Jersey recently passed legislation that prohibits marriage before […]
September 4, 2018

AHA Foundation Builds Bipartisan Coalition, Urges Congress to Add Protections Against FGM to VAWA

This summer, the AHA Foundation formed and led a bipartisan network of women’s organizations and survivor/advocates to push […]
August 28, 2018

Another Case of Honor Violence Takes Lives in Texas

To respect confidentiality of the survivor, those imaged above are neither the perpetrator nor survivor described in this […]
August 24, 2018

Critical Thinking Unit Counters the Dangerous Echo Chamber of Ideas at U.S. Campuses

Julia O’Donnell joined the AHA Foundation as Critical Thinking Unit (CTU) Campus Program Coordinator in late 2017, during […]
July 19, 2018

Child Abuse Expert on Pediatrician’s Role in Preventing Female Genital Mutilation in the United States

Dr. Frasier is an internationally recognized child abuse expert. As one of few medical experts in the United […]
July 17, 2018

Dr. Manea Exposes the Mainstreaming of Islamism

PD. Dr. Elham Manea is a Yemeni-Swiss Associate Professor specialized on the Middle East, a writer, and a […]
June 25, 2018

AHA Foundation Campus Program Fellows Promote Free Thinking on U.S. Campuses – One Event At A Time

Madeleine Hubbard is a rising junior at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign studying Journalism and Political Science. In […]
June 19, 2018

Critical Thinking Unit Fellow Wins FIRE Award

We are proud to announce that Critical Thinking Unit (CTU) fellow Natalie Bao Tram Le, of Harvard University, […]
June 18, 2018

Survivor of FGM, Assita Kanko, Fights for Human Rights for Everyone

Blog is based on past interviews and conversations with Assita Kanko. “Loneliness, the smell of the place where […]
May 25, 2018

Why Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation in the U.S. Must Be a Bipartisan Effort

 Representative Chang with the bipartisan group that worked to pass Michigan’s anti-FGM legislation. The AHA Foundation is unfortunately […]
May 18, 2018

Why A “Ritual Nick” Is a Smoke Screen for Female Genital Mutilation

At the AHA Foundation we emphasize the need for a zero tolerance approach to ending FGM. There is […]
May 2, 2018

Stand Up for Zero Tolerance of Female Genital Mutilation

Last year, the FBI arrested a doctor near Detroit who allegedly cut the genitals of as many as […]