Americana star Brandi Carlile has announced that she will not appear at Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women Summit in Washington, D.C. after former Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen was added to the event.
With respect and gratitude. pic.twitter.com/rhKpRYf6gF— Brandi Carlile (@brandicarlile) October 21, 2019
In a statement posted to her social media, Carlile said that she was honored to be included, but noted that appearing at the same event with Nielsen, who Carlile says played a role in the ‘atrocity’ of migrant family separations at the U.S. border.
“Dropping out of such a special appearance is rarely my style,” she wrote in her statement. “I believe in showing up and lending my voice.”
“I don’t think that human rights violators and merit-based abusers of displaced people should be given a platform to ‘reimagine’ history,” Carlile continued. “The atrocity of family separation at our Southern border needs to go down in history as one of the United States of America’s most merciless acts.”
Nielsen oversaw the Department of Homeland Security as it implemented a controversial policy of separating children of migrants and refugees from their parents and detaining them in often hastily built private facilities.
Carlile joins other high profile figures who have dropped out of the event in recent days over Nielsen’s participation, including former U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ filmmaker Dream Hampton.