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Former Miss America Launches Fund to Support Survivors of Sexual Harassment

Former news anchor, Gretchen Carlson has launched her new fund to support organizations that work with women and girls this past Tuesday. She has named it the “Gift of Courage Fund.” Carlson plans to work with organizations that help to empower women and girls, including, but not limited to, those that are survivors of sexual harassment, assault and abuse.

Gretchen Carlson, Miss America 1989. Photo: Miss America Organization

The news of Carlson’s fund comes just six months after she went public with her allegations of sexual harassment from former Fox News CEO, Roger Ailes. After Gretchen went public with her allegations, other high-profile women, including Megyn Kelly, Shelley Ross and Andrea Tantaros, also came forward.

The former Miss America’s experiences have inspired her to use her career to encourage and empower women. She plans to devote the rest of her working years to this cause, specifically targeting arbitration laws. (Read: Pageant Question Of The Day: Women Leaders)

Carlson has said that many corporations have arbitration laws written into their employee contracts and many people often times have no idea what they are signing. These laws allow the employers to form a private board to review cases such as Carlson’s. Rather than being tried by a public jury, employers are able to choose the people who make the final decision about the case. Ultimately, this ends in results that favor the employers.

Carlson and democratic senators, Al Franken and Patrick Leahy, will be testifying in front of Congress this spring. They will be challenging the use of forced arbitration clauses in employee contracts in hopes that more sexual harassment cases will be heard.

“We think that we’ve gotten so much better with sexual harassment because we don’t hear about it,” Carlson said. “But the reality is, the cases are going to arbitration.”

In addition to The Gift of Courage Fund, the former Miss America will be writing a column for TIME magazine’s site for millennial women, Motto. Carlson said her priority is doing what she can to empower and support women, especially those who work in male-dominated fields.

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