Statement on our Collective Resignation from the Nobel Women’s Initiative
On July 15, 2020, we, the undersigned, submitted a collective notice of resignation to the management and Board of the Nobel Women’s Initiative, a global peace and women’s rights organization.
Five staff and two core consultants — including all the women of color — have ceased our work with the organization. Our feminism is intersectional, anti-oppressive and decolonial. Our identities are African, Black, Jewish, Kurdish, Mexican American, Muslim and White. Collectively we represented the diversity of the organization.
Nobel Women’s Initiative, in our view, requires profound organizational reforms — based on transparency, equity, inclusivity and a commitment to uproot embedded patriarchal practices — in order to fully uphold its values.
We made several attempts to raise these concerns and propose solutions with all levels of leadership, before coming to this final decision. Failure to prioritize and address our concerns in a transparent and inclusive manner, and attempts to devalue and diminish our voices, led to our collective resignation. We speak out today to protect future staff and women activists.
We stand in solidarity with those — particularly from marginalized identities — who are bravely imagining more inclusive and decolonized work environments, even more so in international non-profit and feminist networks.
We will continue to support feminist peace activists and movements globally in our individual capacities, but will not do so at the expense of our voices or wellbeing.
Since our resignation, we are aware that our appeals for an investigation have been heard and plans for an external review are in place. We call for an extensive, independent and fully transparent process that includes all stakeholders. Transformation must include deep reforms in Nobel Women’s Initiative leadership structure, its relationship with staff and how it carries out its work.
The times we are in call for a radical shift: one that ensures that all voices count, are valued, and able to thrive.
We hope the decision to stand in our truth affirms those pushing for a more just, peaceful and equal world to never cease to be bold.
Ashna Ali, former Social Media Coordinator, Korea Peace Now & InterviewHer (2019–2020)
Demetri Lopez, former Consultant and founding staff (2006–2020)
Faduma Warsame, former Finance and Administrative Assistant (2019–2020)
Hayley Rivier-Gatt, former Digital Media and Communications Officer (2017–2020)
Jessica Thompson, former Logistics Consultant (2017–2020)
Ketty Nivyabandi, former Advocacy and Strategic Research Manager (2017–2020)
Margo Nelson, former Lead, Development and Partnerships (2017–2020)
Note: since our resignation, 34 former staff, interns, and consultants (2007–2020) have come forward with a statement in solidarity with us.