Richelle Carey

You already know her as a regular anchor on HLN (formerly CNN Headline News), but now Richelle Carey has branched out into a crucial new role: as an advocate for women and girls.  With the launch of her new personal site RichelleCarey.com, Carey hopes to “provide a place where women and their supporters can have a genuine conversation about the challenges and triumphs of women and girls.”  Some of the features on the site are a We as Women page where women who have impacted lives can be honored and the Violence Against Women page where readers can find information about myths concerning violence against women and learn the ways they can help end the violence.

While she has always been a consistent supporter of these causes, Carey’s role as serious newscaster and HLN anchor didn’t always allow space for her to cover the stories which mattered to her a great deal.  The inspiration for the site came when Carey realized that while she was able to cover many of these important cases that affect women and girls, she wanted to do more.  “[As an anchor] sometimes it’s not my place to give an opinion on things, but women’s issues and girls’ issues are very important to me.” 

Her site will also have a focus the sexualization of girls in the media, sexism, and victim blaming.  Carey hopes to use her website as a space for women and girls to cultivate conversations about and around these issues, as well as celebrate the successes and accomplishments of women all over the world.  “I needed a place where I could talk about things that I couldn’t do in my newscast.  I wanted to use my voice and platform for something else.” Carey says.

As an HLN anchor she certainly has covered a number of high profile domestic violence cases, most recently Chris Brown’s brutal beating of his then girlfriend Rihanna.  “I’ve been doing these stories for a while now and have been doing work outside for a while now.”  Outside of the anchor chair Carey has worked with the nonprofit organization Men Stopping Violence.  Currently, she is the Vice President of the Board of Directors and will move up to become their Chairman next year. 

In many ways, her site is an extension of the advocacy work Carey has been doing with Men Stopping Violence.  As chairman, Carey hopes to make the organization as well known as possible outside of the domestic violence community.  “I want people to know Men Stopping Violence as well as they know the American Cancer Society.” 

Carey’s coverage of high profile cases of domestic violence highlighted the need for an increase in dialogue around these issues.  Carey found that when covering Chris Brown and Rihanna, “even people I knew well were victim blaming.  To make change it can’t always be the people affected directly.  [Victims and survivors] need allies…Domestic violence can happen to anyone.  This is a cultural problem.  It is engrained into who we are.” 

She says that most of the time when we learn about a case of domestic violence, “the first reaction is always, ‘Why is she with him?”  Carey says the question we should be asking is, “Why is he hitting her?  We need to empower women to safely get out of those situations.”

Carey also wants men to know that although her tag line is “empowering women and girls to speak up,” she needs men to be a part of the conversation.  “I need men to know that the site is just as relevant to them [as it is to women].  It’s a site for women and girls but men have daughters, sisters, and wives.  These issues affect human beings.  I’m talking about their daughters.  I’m talking about men they know who are engaging in those behaviors.  I want to bring men into this conversation as well.”

Zerlina Maxwell is a political analyst and soon-to-be attorney.  You can follow her on Twitter: @ZerlinaMaxwell