Saturday, May 11, 2019

International Face Equality Week Begins May 17th, CCA Joins Global Alliance

A week of awareness-raising events, media coverage and social media activity begins around the world today to promote ‘Face Equality’ — the fair treatment of people with facial and body differences and the elimination of disfigurement discrimination.

The 30 NGOs that are members of Face Equality International, the new alliance representing people with disfigurements, will be holding Face Equality Days in their own countries and regions — starting with the Sunshine Welfare Foundation coordinating activities in Taiwan on 17th May. Children’s Craniofacial Association will be publishing stories from our families and partners throughout the week.

Erica Mossholder, MBA, Executive Director of Children’s Craniofacial Association says, “We believe this week is important because it highlights our on-going effort advocating public acceptance for appearance diversity, and the FEI is doing the critical work of engaging with media and governing bodies to suggest tangible guidelines for how people with facial differences should be respected, represented, and included in the workplace, media, and beyond.”

Dr. James Partridge OBE, founder and Director of Face Equality International says:

“Wherever they live in the world, people with disfigurements — whether from cleft lip and/or palate, birthmarks, burns, acid violence, facial paralysis like Bell’s palsy, skin conditions such as psoriasis and vitiligo or after facial cancer — are disadvantaged by the way they are received. They experience isolation, bullying, ridicule and staring in public, low expectations in school, problems getting work and harassment in the workplace, abuse on social media and stereotyping in the media and films.

“The first International Face Equality Week demonstrates that the campaign for Face Equality has become a global movement. We aim to tackle three problems commonly associated with disfigurement — ignorance, fear and unwitting prejudice — by celebrating the achievements and ambitions of people with disfigurements and by bringing the disadvantages they face to public attention. Our growing movement demands respect and fair treatment for everyone, backed up by effective anti-discrimination protection in every country.”

In addition to Children’s Craniofacial Association, NGOs that are participating in the International Week include Smile Train, the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors and FACES in the US, the European Cleft Organisation, the Smile Foundation in South Africa and Changing Faces in the UK.

[A full list of Members of Face Equality International is here:]

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