We're a community service, not just a business," say Kaia Wilson and Tammy Rae Carland, cofounders of Mr. Lady, a music label and video distributor founded by and for lesbian feminists. Yes, they do everything, from getting CDs pressed to designing album covers to promoting releases; their covers boast a radical twist, and they share a whopping 50 percent of profits with their artists. But at its core, Mr. Lady is a gay and lesbian activist group. "We use art to organize our activism," says Wilson. The duo and their artists hold speakouts across the U.S. to talk about sexual identity and have a following in the thousands. At any given event, expect to see a cross-section of the feminist community, including police-brutality protesters, pro-choicers, and activists from health centers, rape-crisis clinics, and queer youth groups. When they're not on the road, Wilson and Carland spend a large part of their time fielding calls for help from gay teens seeking advice and support. "What keeps us going," says Carland, who is also a professor of film and photography at the University of North Carolina, "is the opportunity to mobilize our community and heighten gay/lesbian consciousness in the entertainment industry."
The Durham, North Carolina- based Mr. Lady was founded in Greencastle, Indiana, in 1996, when Wilson, a musician, began searching for a label that was sensitive to lesbian issues. When she discovered few options, she and Carland invented one. Added inspiration came from their experiences in hetero-happy middle America. "They thought we were such weirdos!" Carland laughs. "We wanted a community we could connect with." Their latest project? A shout-out to the transgender crowd on a CD compilation entitled Calling All Kings and Queens. For more info, visit www.mrlady.com.
5/1/2015 House Reverses DC Law Banning Reproductive Health Discrimination by Employers - The US House of Representatives voted Thursday night to overturn a Washington, DC, law that makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who use their insurance to cover procedures like in-vitro fertilization or abortion and contraception like birth control pills and IUDs for themselves, their spouses, or their children.
The District's council passed the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act last year. . . .
4/30/2015 400 Women and Children Have Been Rescued From Boko Haram in Nigeria - In two different operations in under a week, Nigerian troops have rescued more than 400 women and children who had been kidnapped by Boko Haram.
On Tuesday, Nigerian troops announced they rescued 200 girls and 93 women from Boko Haram - and today news has come out that troops rescued another 160 women and children.
While the news is promising and shows progress made in Nigeria to combat Boko Haram, the girls rescued were not the Chibok girls who inspired the #BringBackOurGirls movement last year. . . .
4/29/2015 Hillary Clinton Calls for Criminal Justice Reform and an End to Mass Incarceration - Hillary Clinton delivered the keynote address at the 18th Annual Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum today, addressing directly criminal justice reforms she would like to see to prevent another "incarceration generation."
"It's time the end the era of mass incarceration," Clinton declared to much applause, citing statistics about the disproportionately higher rate of incarceration that black men in America face. . . .