One of my personal heroes is Marilyn Milos, founder of NOCIRC, Her story of personal activism is exemplar; a model for anyone seized by a passionate insight that something is wrong and must be corrected. As a nurse training to become a midwife she witnessed her first circumcision.

 The baby was on a circumstraint, the plastic molded board that holds the baby down, strapped spread eagle and struggling against the restraints. He was on the counter by himself and making the same kind of sounds you or I would if we were being restrained. Uh, uh, oh, and getting louder and louder and more and more frightened. Then the doctor started to cut the baby opened his mouth and let out a scream I’d never heard come out of the mouth of a baby and I had had four children.’        

That moment changed Marilyn’s life. It is an honor to share her story. You will find our interview the most direct, honest, informed and passionate about why she says no to circumcision.

‘When I started in May of 1979 the circumcision rate was somewhere between 85% and 95%. Nobody knows for sure. I’ve been doing this work for over 35 years. Twenty years later, in 1999 the rates had decreased to 62.5%. According to National Center for Health Statistics, of the nearly 20 million babies surveyed, fewer than 12 million were circumcised between 1999 and 2008. In terms of social movements that’s quite incredible.’

Yes it is. Please visit The Academy and be inspired as I am by Marilyn’s continuing journey.

Michael Mendizza