'She Should Be Shunned': Fortune Magazine Holds Fast Despite Outrage Over Kirstjen Nielsen's Presence at Women's Summit

Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women Summit 2019 is down three high-profile speakers due to the continued presence at the event of former Department of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, whose involvement in implementing President Donald Trump’s family separation policy triggered calls for attendees to boycott the forum. 

“She should be shunned,” tweeted Florida Democratic activist Pam Keith of Nielsen. 

Filmmaker dream hampton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile all dropped out of the event in recent days, with hampton and Carlile specifically citing Nielsen’s presence as the motivating factor for dropping out. Clinton spokesperson Nick Merill told HuffPost Clinton had a conflict, though an unnamed source claimed the decision was because of Nielsen. 

As Common Dreams reported on October 11, news that Nielsen was speaking at the event triggered a boycott movement by Credo Action and other progressive groups.

“Fortune Magazine doesn’t seem to get it,” Credo Action campaign manager Jelani Drew-Davi said in a statement. “If they had listened to the more than 50,000 grassroots activists who signed a petition calling on them to disinvite Nielsen, they would still have powerful women leaders like Hillary Clinton, dream hampton, and Brandi Carlile attending their event. Instead, Fortune is left with a woman who put children in cages and self-inflicted damage to their reputation.”

According to the event schedule, Nielsen is slated to be questioned on her time at Homeland Security by PBS NewsHour journalist Amna Nawaz at 2:35pm on Tuesday. During Nielsen’s tenure, she presided over the administration’s child separation policy, which the Health and Human Services department revealed Friday ripped 1,250 more children from their parents than was previously reported. That number is expected to be confirmed this week.