Fifteenth International Symposium

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The Fifteenth International Symposium on Genital Autonomy and Children's Rights convened at the Hotel Kabuki, San Francisco, California, USA on May 4-6, 2018.

Faculty

  • Peter W. Adler holds a BA degree in philosophy from Dartmouth College; a MA degree in philosophy from Cambridge University with Honours; and a JD from University of Virginia School of Law, where he was a senior editor of the Virginia Law Review. He is a full-time Adjunct Professor of International Law and International Business at the University of Massachusetts. Wellesley, Massachusetts, USA.
  • Zenas Baer graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in German Literature and Political Science (1976). He graduated from Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1980. Since 1980, he has been in the private practice of law in Hawley, Minnesota. He is licensed to practice in the United States Supreme Court, United States Claims Court, United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Eighth Circuit US Court of Appeals, Supreme Court of the State of Minnesota, Supreme Court of the State of North Dakota, US District Courts in Minnesota and North Dakota, and the White Earth Band of Chippewa Tribal Court. His practice is focused primarily on complex litigation and is known to take on unusual cases generally fighting for the underdog. Zenas has handled a number of circumcision cases and dealt extensively with the concept of informed consent as it relates to circumcision. Hawley, Minnesota, USA.
  • Dan Bollinger has been working on men’s rights issues since college. He facilitated a men’s weekend workshop for many years. Formerly the director of the International Coalition for Genital Integrity, for the past 21 years Dan has focused his efforts on Intactivism and, lately, exclusively with Intact America. He was a member of Intact America’s founding committee, and serves as its volunteer strategy advisor. Dan has authored many articles and essays on men’s rights, psychology, and strategy, all concerning Intactivism. His contributions to the cause include photography, website design, graphic design, speaking, scientific research, and making demonstration devices. He has contributed to many intactivist websites and created the Circumcision Decision-Maker website. Dan has an Industrial Design degree with a minor in psychology. He lives with his beloved wife Rebecca “On the Banks of the Wabash.” Lafayette, Indiana, USA.
  • Trish Causey shares intact men's experiences to show why keeping the foreskin intact is crucial to a man's health and happiness. She has learned from intact men their experiences of being whole in cutting cultures. As more and more boys are left intact, our cutting societies have yet to make being intact “socially acceptable” in our culture, media, and medical environments. As a sexual health advocate, Trish's intactivism is informed not only as a human rights activist and feminist, with a steadfast stance on body autonomy and self-determination, but also her personal experience of painful sex and an inability to orgasm with circumcised men. New York, New York, USA.
  • Georganne Chapin is founding executive director of Intact America. For 25 years, she served as President and CEO of Hudson Health Plan, an innovative nonprofit health plan for low-income New Yorkers. In 2005, she founded the Hudson Center for Health Equity & Quality, a health policy and technology organization that she still leads, and that helps to support Intact America through its 501(c)(3) status. Georganne has written and spoken widely about social justice, healthcare reform, and bioethical issues. She is frequently quoted in the press, and has been interviewed on television, radio, and the Web in the United States and abroad. She holds a BA in Anthropology from Barnard College, MA and MPhil degrees in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University, and a JD with certificates in Health and International Law from Pace University Law School. She has taught as an adjunct professor of law at Pace, and adjunct professor of bioethics to doctoral students at Dominican College School of Nursing. Woodstock, New York, USA.
  • George Denniston, MD, MPH, left the east coast early in his career and headed west to Seattle, where he started six birth control clinics. Then, as Associate Medical Director of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America in New York, he persuaded the National Board to add abortion and sterilization to the services offered by 400 clinics in the US. Returning to Seattle, he ran a birth control clinic, and trained doctors worldwide using 16mm films. One day, George learned from Marilyn Milos of two cases of botched circumcisions. Looking into it, he began to realize the great harm inflicted by this practice, not only to innocent little boys, but to the medical profession as a whole. Gallup polls (1965-1995) showed a decline in trust of doctors by Americans from 95% to 27%! He realized that his activist lay colleagues knew far more about the foreskin than most doctors, and that they were being arrogantly dismissed. He founded Doctors Opposing Circumcision to fight fire with fire. He is thankful for and enjoys knowing all his fellow intactivists who see the world through clear eyes. Nordland, Washington, USA.
  • Michael Drash is an independent scholar who graduated from the University of Virginia in 2017 with a BA in Linguistics and Slavic Languages and Literatures. His research interests include research ethics and sexual ethics as well as phonology, linguistic nationalism, and language pedagogy. He is currently working outside of academia but his current research project is investigating the ethical limits of amputation and surgery in a research setting. Santa Monica, California.
  • Clive Elwood Dunn is a journalist and a graduate student in peace studies of the Kofi Annan Institute for Conflict Transformation in Liberia. He holds a BA degree in mass communications and political science from the University of Liberia's College of Social Sciences and Humanities, and a Masters of Ntalextuwl Studies degree with an emphasis in communications and public policy from the Blacology Research and Development Institute in Fort Washington, Maryland. In addition to having served as associate public information officer with the UN Mission in Liberia, Clive is a member of the Press Union of Liberia and has worked as an editor at various media outlets, including the state-run Liberia Broadcasting System, the Liberian Standard, New Liberian Standard, Poll Watch, and Varsity Pilot. He is a devoted Christian and married with two daughters. Monrovia, Liberia, Africa.
  • Brian Earp is Associate Director of the Yale-Hastings Program in Ethics and Health Policy at Yale University and the Hastings Center Bioethics Research Institute, and a Research Fellow in the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford. With degrees from Yale, Oxford, and Cambridge universities, his work is cross-disciplinary, following training in gender and sexuality, philosophy, psychology, history and sociology of science and medicine, and ethics. His research has been cited in the US President’s Commission on Bioethics and in a landmark British high court case concerning "Female Genital Mutilation" (FGM) by Sir James Munby (in the matter of B and G). In 2016, he was invited by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences to serve as one of a small group of “high-level experts” reporting to the Dutch government on research methods and quality control in science and medicine; he later served as a peer reviewer on the final report. He was also invited to submit materials based on his work on female and male genital cutting to a special committee of the European Parliament; this work has now been published as part of a monograph series produced by the same. Other scholarly highlights include serving as Guest Editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics for a special issue on circumcision; serving as Guest Editor for the Medical Law Review for a special issue on regulating sexual boundaries; authoring a forthcoming book on male, female, and intersex genital cutting for Chicago University Press; and publishing more than 20 peer-reviewed essays or book chapters on the science and ethics of childhood genital cutting, including an in-depth analysis of the 2008 WHO/UN policy on "FGM" in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, whose editor devoted a special issue to the article, with invited responses from leading experts. Brian currently serves as Associate Editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics, Associate Editor for the Yale Journal of Law & Humanities, Ethics Editor for the Journal of Clinical and Translational Research, and sits on the Board of Editorial Consultants for Public Affairs Quarterly. New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
  • John V. Geisheker, JD, LL.M, has practiced medico-legal law as an arbitrator, mediator, litigator, and law lecturer for over 30 years. He is currently the full-time pro bono Director and General Counsel for Doctors Opposing Circumcision, an international physicians’ charity based in Seattle, Washington. D.O.C.’s members and supporters oppose merely cultural, non-therapeutic, genital cutting of children – male, female, or intersex – on human rights’ grounds.John is a native of New Zealand, a country that fully abandoned medicalized male circumcision in the 1960's. He hopes his adopted USA will someday follow that principled example. Seattle, Washington, USA.
  • Brother K was born in Miami in 1947 and grew up in New Orleans. He studied journalism at the University of Illinois, where he earned his degree in 1969. He protested against circumcision at the California State Capital in 1980, a protest that the Associated Press and other media reported locally and across the nation. In 1986, he changed his name to Brother K in California Superior Court, an act of protest against his circumcision at birth. He formed Bloodstained Men in 2012 and has protested in cities from coast to coast. Davis, California, USA.
  • Antony Lempert, MB, BS, MRCGP, qualified as a doctor from King’s College, London in 1990. Since 1999, he has worked as a primary care physician (GP) in a rural UK practice. For the past ten years, he has also coordinated and chaired the Secular Medical Forum (SMF), which in 2017 integrated with the (UK) National Secular Society. The SMF campaigns to protect people from the harmful imposition on them of other people’s personal religious beliefs. Antony chairs the Shropshire division of the British Medical Association (BMA) and since 2009 has attended the BMA Annual Representatives Meeting where he has spoken several times about ritual genital cutting. As an invited representative of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), Antony met with the chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva in 2012 to discuss ritual circumcision. He appears regularly on radio, television, and in printed media. Antony lives in England with his wife and two teenage children, working as a GP just over the border in Wales. Shropshire, UK.
  • David J. Llewellyn, BA, JD, is a trial lawyer who has practiced law for 38 years. Since 1995, David regularly has represented the victims of genital injury. He has extensive experience representing the victims of the most common forms of negligently performed circumcisions. David also has represented a number of parents who filed suits to prevent the circumcision of their sons. David has appeared "pro hac vice" in courts in almost one-half of the United States. Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
  • James Loewen is a photographer/videographer whose YouTube channel, Bonobo3D, contains more than four hundred original videos. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
  • Anthony Losquadro is a native New Yorker and graduate of the US Merchant Marine Academy. He was President of Consumers Energy Group for over 20 years, a NYC-based marketer of petroleum products. He was involved with industry-wide marketing and advertising as a board member of national and regional trade groups. His business experience includes solving real-world challenges in marketing, legal, and regulatory areas. Anthony formed Intaction in 2010 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to apply his life’s experience to achieve real impact for the cause of genital integrity. He is married with two children. Brooklyn, New York, USA.
  • Brendon Marotta is an award-winning filmmaker who has been making films since he was 14 years old. Brendon graduated from the University of the North Carolina School of the Arts Film School, to work as a professional film editor. American Circumcision is his first feature-length documentary as director. Austin, Texas, USA.
  • Paul Mason, BA, LLB, Family Law Barrister, Former Children's Commissioner, Tasmania, is a family solicitor and barrister of 39 years, and was Tasmania’s Children's Commissioner for 3½ years. In a lifelong interest in the rights of children, their genital autonomy rights became a focus in 2008, from a chance question by a paediatrician at a government meeting in Hobart. In 2008, Paul became inaugural patron of GA UK and in 2014 Chair of the Australasian Institute for Genital Autonomy. Paul has written and presented on the rights of every child to protection from violence of all kinds – including medically unnecessary genital cutting - both here and over-seas. Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
  • Soraya Miré was born in Somalia and immigrated to Europe in 1978 at the age of 17. She studied literature and political science at the University of Grenoble in France, then left her studies to expand her mission to end violence toward women and children. In 1984, she moved to Los Angeles and began a career in film. She is a director, writer, and activist, whose credits include a featured segment about FGM in the Vagina Monologues and the award-winning documentary Fire Eyes, which highlights the barbaric practice of FGM. Her book, The Girl With Three Legs: A Memoir, was published in 2011. Presently, she is working on a feature film. Soraya has been recognized with the Humanitarian Award at the United Nations Sub-Commission Sessions, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Winnie Mandela Award, Best Documentary at the UN International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, the Human Rights Award at the Third International Symposium on Circumcision (University of Maryland), and Intact America's Personal Courage Award 2009. Soraya has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, and Nightline. She has lectured at numerous universities, including Harvard, UCLA, Vanderbilt, and Stanford. She has stood before committees at the UN, the US Senate Human Resource and Health Assembly, and the World Health Organization. She has worked with medical professionals, government officials, attorneys, women, and with families who have been affected by FGM, all in her tireless pursuit of protection of children's rights. Los Angeles, California, USA.
  • Lisa Braver Moss is a writer specializing in family issues, health, Judaism, and humor. Her essays have appeared in the Huffington Post, Tikkun, Parents, Lilith, Jewish Journal, and other publications. She is the author of The Measure of His Grief (Notim Press, 2010), the first novel ever written about the circumcision controversy. She is co-author, with Rebecca Wald, of Celebrating Brit Shalom (Notim Press, 2015), the first-ever book of ceremonies and music for Jewish families opting out of circumcision. Lisa also conceived and spearheaded the movement toward open inclusion of brit shalom families in Jewish life. Piedmont, California, USA.
  • Audra Berger − Ms. Blu is a prolific singer and song-writer who puts “storytelling” to music. A music and nightclub prodigy at the age of twelve, Ms. Blu rides on the Intact America New York Pride Parade float and sings for the babies and children, helping to bring awareness about their right to bodily integrity and genital autonomy. New York, New York, USA.
  • Mark D. Reiss, MD, is the Executive Vice-President of Doctors Opposing Circumcision. In addition to wife, family, and San Francisco, Dr. Reiss has made genital autonomy a high priority in his life. He is the founder and administrator of Celebrants of Brit Shalom, a web-based site listing rabbis, cantors, and lay leaders who will replace the traditional bris with a non-cutting ceremony. In his spare time, he is a concert pianist. San Francisco, California, USA.
  • Emily Rumsey and Emily Fitzgerald are midwives who provide clinical care to women as well as media producers who use digital media to provide health education to families. Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
  • Lloyd Schofield was the proponent for the San Francisco Male Genital Mutilation Initiative, which gathered nearly double the amount of valid signatures required to be placed on the 2011 ballot in the City and County of San Francisco. The initiative's signature-gathering process and placement on the ballot generated an enormous amount of international publicity and facilitated a worldwide discussion that had not been previously possible. Lloyd is currently the President of the Bay Area Intactivists, a grassroots 501(c)(3) charitable organization, which works to protect and defend the genital autonomy of all individuals − male, female and intersex − by sponsoring and participating in events that expand visibility and work together with other human rights organizations. Lloyd presented a tribute to Jonathon Conte at the Keele Symposium in September 2016. San Francisco, California, USA.
  • Steve Scott, as the Education Outreach Coordinator for NOCIRC, produced multi-media presentations for healthcare providers and public education forums. He organized the world premiere of The Nurses of St Vincent Say No to Circumcision. Steve has presented at national and international conferences on the topic of circumcision and is a regular guest speaker for the Department of Human Sexuality at the University of Utah and the Department of Ethics at Utah Valley University. He directed the production of the video, The Prepuce, and authored, "Anatomy and Physiology of the Human Prepuce," in Male and Female Circumcision: Medical, Legal, and Ethical Considerations in Pediatric Practice(Kluwer Academic/Plenum Press 1999), the proceedings of the Fifth International Symposium on Sexual Mutilations. Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.
  • J. Steven Svoboda holds a Master’s Degree in Physics from the University of California at Berkeley and graduated with honors from Harvard Law School. He is Executive Director of Attorneys for the Rights of the Child, which he founded in 1997, and he has presented to the United Nations on male circumcision. In 2013, he debated Michael Brady of the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding the legality and ethics of male circumcision, unofficially winning the debate. His articles regarding children’s right to bodily autonomy have appeared in the Journal of Medical Ethics, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, American Medical Association Journal of Ethics, and American Journal of Bioethics. Berkeley, California, USA.
  • Hida Viloria is the founding director of the Intersex Campaign for Equality (IC4E) and one of the world’s foremost intersex and non-binary activists, a frequent consultant (UN, Lambda Legal, Human Rights Watch), speaker (Columbia, Princeton, Stanford, NYU...), television and radio guest (Oprah, Aljazeera, 20/20, NPR, BBC...), and one of the most extensively published writers in the field (The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, The Advocate, The American Journal of Bioethics, CNN.com, Ms...). In 2017 she became the recipient of the nation’s second intersex birth certificate, and he/r memoir Born Both: An Intersex Life (Hachette Books) was released to praise by The New York Times, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, NPR, Psychology Today, People, and more. Follow Viloria online at hidaviloria.com, or @hidaviloria on Facebook and Twitter. Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.
  • Jen Williams is the founder and director of Your Whole Baby. She got her start in activism during her college years, when she formed an animal rights group on the campus of Texas A&M University. After graduation, she worked for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) in the Vegan Outreach department. Jen later pursued her teaching certification and taught middle school and high school English for seven years before becoming a stay-at-home/homeschooling mom. When her daughter was a year old, a friend got her involved in advocating for genital autonomy. As she traveled down the rabbit hole of knowledge, her passion for the topic grew, as did her desire to create a one-stop website for activists and researching parents. With the support of a friend, Jen created YourWholeBaby.org in December of 2014. Since that time, the organization has expanded to social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The need to appeal to college-age students led to the creation of the sibling site YWB101.org/YourWholeBody.org. In 2016, Your Whole Baby’s website had approximately 118,000 visitors. In 2017, the reach was over 313,000. Jen looks forward to a future where all children are protected from genital cutting, and hopes that this growing organization will help make that a reality. Leaner, Texas, USA.
  • Ashley Trueman, BS, MS, MCert Philosophy, Director of Education with Your Whole Baby, developed “The Foreskin and Circumcision: Facts you need to know to make an informed decision”, a two-hour class curriculum for expectant parents, which she presented at the 13th International Symposium on Genital Autonomy and Children's Rights. To date, her presentation to more than 300 couples has a 100% success rate for saving boys from circumcision. Circumcision first got on Ashley’s radar when a baby died shortly after his circumcision at a pediatric office where she worked as an undergraduate student. Many years later, her office shared a wall with the “circumcision room” of a pediatrician/mohel and that’s what drove her to activism and eventually back to school to study bioethics. Ashley began her bioethics training at Georgetown University before moving to England to study philosophy with a focus in bioethics at Oxford University. She also holds degrees from Arizona State University and Tulane University. New Haven, Connecticut.

Proceedings

Program

Friday, 4 May 2018

  • Registration
  • Welcome
  • Childhood Genital Cutting and Religious Freedom: Where to draw the line?
Brian Earp
  • Meet & Greet

Saturday, 5 May 2018

  • Registration
  • Welcome
  • What if We Were Free and Whole? Genital Autonomy's Transformative Impact
Hida Viloria
  • Female Genital Mutilation
Soraya Miré
  • The Anatomy of the Human Prepuce and the Physiological Complications Consequent to Posthectomy
Steve Scott
J. Steven Svoboda
  • International Classification of Disease
John Geisheker
Peter Adler
  • Lunch on Your Own
  • Twenty-eight years of circumcision litigation: What have we learned? What progress have we made?
David J. Llewellyn
  • Duty to Report - Maltreatment of Minors: Taking the fight for genital autonomy to the street
Zenas Baer
  • Evaluating the Rights of Human Research Subjects in Randomized Circumcision Trials
Michael Drash
  • Coffee
  • Breaking Down the Wall of Denial: The San Francisco MGM Initiative
Lloyd Schofield
  • Meet Your Whole Baby
Jen Williams and Ashley Trueman
  • Dinner on Your Own
  • American Circumcision Screening
Brendon Marotta

Sunday, 6 May 2018

  • Registration
  • Documenting Intactivism: 25 years of progress
James Loewen
  • Three Decades of Jewish Intactivism: From emotions to strategy
Lisa Braver Moss
  • Celebrants of Brit Shalom
Mark Reiss
  • The Circumcision Movie, a trailer
Emily Rumsey and Emily Fitzgerald
  • Coffee
  • Maximum Impact: Marketing-based strategies and emotional messaging for foreskin protection that win!
Anthony Losquadro
  • Frontline and Online: Intactivist strategies of resistance

Brother K

Antony Lempert
  • Lunch on Your Own
  • GA Down Under: The persuasive significance of non-type III FGC
Paul Mason
  • INTACT: Men As they Were Born To Be
Trish Causey
  • The Challenge to Educate Inclusiveness for Intersex Children Born into Our Society
Clive Elwood Dunn
  • Coffee
  • Intact America: Implementing a tipping point strategy to change the way America thinks about circumcision
Georganne Chapin and Dan Bollinger
  • Discussion - Everyone included
  • Banquet Dinner Concluding Remarks
George Denniston
  • Entertainment
Ms. Blu

Symposium organizers

The Fifteenth International Symposium was presented by Genital Autonomy - America and Intact America.

See also

External links