Ariadne’s Thread – February 2021

Ariadne’s Thread – February 2021
February 18, 2021 Hannah Stevens

February 2021

Ariadne’s Thread is a monthly update of events, briefings and research for social change and human rights funders. 

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Ariadne News & Events

Photo by Anika Huizinga on Unsplash

REGISTER NOW! 2021 ARIADNE FORECAST ROUNDTABLE MEETING ON GERMANY: Our final Ariadne Forecast roundtable of the year will focus on Germany (24th February, 11:00-12:30 CET). The meeting will start with the results of a short survey of pivotal grant-makers in the region. German senior forecasters will offer expert input, which will be followed by an open discussion between funders. Moderators: Dr. Martin Modlinger, EDGE Funders Alliance and Anke Pätsch, Federal Association of German Foundations. Speakers: Gabriele Bischoff, Managing Director of Movement Foundation; Selmin Çalışkan, Director Institutional Relations at Open Society Foundations; and Alexander Diepold, Managing Director at Hildegard Lagrenne Foundation. The results of the survey and roundtables will be collated into the 2021 Ariadne Forecast for publication by the end of March. To register, please click here. Please note this is a funder-only event.

2 X NEW PODCAST EPISODES: DATA IS THE ENGINE OF CHANGE IN GENDER LENS INVESTING & HOW GENDER LENS INVESTING SUPPORTS RACIAL JUSTICE AND PROGRESSIVE CHANGE FOR LGBTQI: In our second podcast episode, we look at how data benefits investors: how it determines companies with a good diversity record and what it tells us about progress towards equality in the workplace for women. In the third episode, we look at how Gender Lens Investing supports racial justice and progressive change for LGBTQI communities, and how these investment models are also creating new revenue streams for NGOs and Civil Society. This series of podcasts were supported by funds from the European Commission. They are written and presented by Jo Andrews and produced and edited by Bill Taylor of The Lark Rise Partnership. You can listen to it via iTunesSoundcloudSpotifyStitcher or TuneIn. Make sure you subscribe, so you don’t miss out on future episodes!

PEXforum 2021: FROM CRISIS TO RENEWAL: PEXforum 2021 provided a unique space for over 160 participants to explore the key values that unite European philanthropy and how to jointly advance the philanthropy ecosystem for a sustainable and just Europe. Did you miss it? Don’t worry, you can check out Alliance Magazine’s coverage. We particularly enjoyed the blogs from our very own Debora Guidetti and Carola Carazzone.

NEW BLOG! YOUNG FEMINISTS ARE OUR HOPE IN THE CLIMATE CRISIS. PHILANTHROPY; STEP UP NOW: Friend of the network Maria Alejandra Escalante, queer climate feminist and Climate and Environmental Justice Advocacy Officer at FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund, has written a blog for Ariadne on why (and how) philanthropy should step up to support young feminists in their activism on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Maria shares FRIDA’s learnings on: getting rid of silos, which don’t reflect reality; recognising the diversity of and trusting the abilities of young feminists; making the application process work for grantee partners; supporting intersectionality and being intersectional; and getting support and resources to the frontlines. Click here to read the blog. Want more? Join our climate justice community.

WE’VE MOVED! Well, kind of. We’re still working from our kitchens, perched at our dining room tables or set up in the cupboard under the stairs. But we’ve given up our office space, so we’re 100% virtual. If you’d like to use ‘snail mail’ you can reach us at: Ariadne, c/o Global Dialogue, First Floor, 10 Queen Street Place, London EC4R 1BE.

*To register for Ariadne events, your institution must be a member organisation of Ariadne. For questions regarding your membership status, please contact Hannah Stevens.


New Research, Articles and Judgements

Uncovering anti‑Roma discrimination in criminal justice systems in Europe: This report  presents a summary of the findings of research conducted by Fair Trials to provide further insight into Roma disproportionality in criminal justice systems of Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Spain. Between 2019-2020, researchers conducted interviews with police officers, prosecutors, judges, defence lawyers, and members of the Roma community to understand perceptions of how anti-gypsyism impacts criminal justice decisions and outcomes. These were followed by consultations with various local experts and activists, in which the findings of the interviews were shared and discussed. The results of this research paint an extremely worrying picture of criminal justice systems and their treatment of Roma.

SHF Race Report: 40 years of tackling racial inequality in Britain: In the wake of Black Lives Matter protests in summer 2020, the UK Prime Minister announced an inquiry. The cross-governmental ‘Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities’, led by Number 10 adviser Munira Mirza, would look into discrimination against black, Asian and minority ethnic people in education, health and criminal justice. Over the past 40 years, numerous other inquiries have looked at racial inequalities across British society. This new review, written by Stephen D. Ashe for the Stuart Hall Foundation in partnership with Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE), with additional support from Hollick Family Foundation, summarises the findings of these previous inquiries. The aim, in setting out the story so far, is to ensure that any new inquiry does not simply go over old ground; but builds on what went before.

Out of sight, not out of reach: The global scale and scope of transnational repression: This new report from Freedom House is the first global study of transnational repression, or the targeting of exiles and diasporas by their origin states. It goes beyond familiar high-profile cases like the murder of Jamal Khashoggi to explain the logic and the prevalence of transnational repression around the world: who is doing what to whom how.

Mozilla Internet Health Report 2020: 2020 taught us the hard way that internet health impacts human health. That’s why for their new Internet Health report, Mozilla chose to double down on solutions. They focus on the code, the laws, and the norms we need to make sure that the internet helps, rather than harms, humanity. They dug deep to examine some of the biggest stories playing out online: the racial inequities of data and algorithms; how gig work is trampling labour rights; and what meaningful transparency means for social media platforms. Over 100 experts and activists from around the world weigh in on what can be done to build a healthier internet. See also article, ‘Google has been allowing advertisers to exclude nonbinary people from seeing job ads.’

End of US ‘global gag rule’ raises hopes for women’s healthcare at crucial time: This article outlines that, when the Trump administration reinstated the “global gag rule” in 2017, the International Planned Parenthood Federation lost some $100 million in funding in the following years, impacting a spectrum of healthcare projects in 32 countries and going well beyond the intended goal of preventing abortions. The gag rule has had a trickle-down impact by affecting access to other lifesaving services, and so its end raises hopes for women’s healthcare at crucial time.

‘You messed with the wrong generation’: The young people resisting Myanmar’s military: Since the coup, social media has become an essential tool for exchanging knowledge and experience between generations, reports Judith Beyer in this article for openDemocracy.

Russian protesters on why they’re risking their futures: Why did Russian citizens come out in such large numbers last month? This researcher spoke to 50 protesters in Moscow; an openDemocracy article shares what she found.

EU needs to reinvent itself to win fight against poverty: The European Union must boldly rethink its socio-economic governance if it is to live up to its commitment to eradicate poverty, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights said at the end of a recent official visit to EU institutions. “While the EU has made recent progress in the eradication of poverty, it should not fall into complacency,” said Olivier De Schutter. “Its own commitment to lift 20 million people out of poverty by 2020 was largely missed. Since the EU has experienced steady economic and employment growth until very recently, the only explanation for this failure is that the benefits have not been evenly distributed. This is a defeat for social rights.” This article summarises his full end of mission statement.


Blogs and Other Sites of Interest

FREE E-BOOK: Humane Justice: What role do kindness, hope and compassion play in the criminal justice system? For the past four years, a group of organisations have collaborated to release a series of books exploring different aspects of the justice system, as part of the Mounment Fellowship. The latest book in the series, “Humane Justice”, seeks to answer the question of what role kindness, hope and compassion play in the criminal justice system.

PODCAST: Romatopia: Roma talk about their utopia for Europe: Romatopia is a new podcast in which Roma from twelve countries talk about their lives and their utopia for Europe. Roma are the largest minority in Europe and, spread across all European countries and beyond, form a transnational community whose culture is closely interwoven with European cultural history. Their cultural achievements and resilience are often unknown among mainstream societies. The podcast argues that a new and more generous way of thinking about Roma today would be to admire the Roma’s unconventional approach to life for its potential to engender cultural and social innovation. Romatopia presents Roma as role models for the “idea of Europe,” not as a problem.

SURVEY: Health of the digital rights community: The organisers of the Internet Freedom Festival invite those working on digital rights or technology for human rights to complete this 7-minute survey, the results of which will contribute to the first ever ‘Community Health Report.’ The report will seek to provide a snapshot of the health and wellbeing of the human networks working on internet freedom and digital rights throughout the world; raise awareness about the challenges they are facing; and help IFF design self-care and psychosocial support services that address the community’s most pressing needs.

BLOG: Blasphemy laws and human rights: A match made in hell: There are few indications that blasphemy laws are effective in hindering discrimination, conflict, and violence; in fact, the opposite may very well be the case, argues this blog by Marie Juul Petersen for OpenGlobalRights.

ARTICLE: ‘If they sound like a man, hang up’ – how transphobia became rife in the gender-based violence sector: This gal-dem article presents their investigation into the UK gender-based violence sector; revealing an underbelly of transphobia that has alienated trans survivors and pushed some workers towards a collective fightback.

HOME SCHOOLING? Free learning resources from Positive Negatives: Positive Negative is an award-winning non-profit making comics, animations and learning resources from real stories. If you’re currently home schooling, you might want to check out their free learning resources. There are lots of teaching packs to choose from, including ‘Maths of Migration’ and ‘Exploring Islam on Campus.’

Do you have a great blog post, case study or podcast you’d like to contribute? We would love to feature it. Email Hannah Stevens at


Lessons learned in the pursuit of gender justice and feminist practice in Burma: What does feminist funding really look like? Lessons Learned in the Pursuit of Gender Justice and Feminist Practice in Burma, a new report produced by the Fund for Global Human Rights, in partnership with Inter Pares, outlines lessons learned about supporting feminist movements in Myanmar. The authors believe these lessons and the process they went through to reach them are important for donors, funders, and activists around the world who want to build and support feminist movements. See also Alliance blog, ‘What does feminist funding really look like?’

Building resilience in international development: The events of 2020 have drawn attention to the concept of resilience. People are asking ‘How can we cope and survive?’ and ‘How can we make sure that we build back better from this crisis?’ This paper considers what resilience looks like in practice. It is based on the work of Tewa, Global Greengrants Fund and Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. In June 2020, these organisations came together to hold online discussions with civil society from across the world. Together these projects provide insight into the factors that promote community and disaster resilience and identify measures to mitigate those factors that impede resilience. The work was coordinated by PSJP as part of its ‘Key Concepts in Development Series.’

Building Indigenous power and Investing in Indigenous self-determination: This article from Stanford Social Innovation Review argues that, to solve the most pressing issues for Indigenous communities, and for the world at large, power and autonomy must be given to Indigenous people themselves.

Up for debate: Should foundations increase their pay outs during big crises? The onset of COVID-19 has amplified discussions about philanthropic spending during an economic downturn, with some observers saying that a big crisis like the pandemic should compel funders to not just maintain their outlays, but to disburse more. This series from Stanford Social Innovation Review seeks to capture some of these discussions.

Philanthropy and digital civil society: Blueprint 2021: ‘Philanthropy and digital civil society: Blueprint’ is an annual industry forecast about the ways we use private resources for public benefit in the digital age. Each year, the Blueprint provides an overview of the current landscape, points to big ideas that matter, and directs your attention to horizons where you can expect some important breakthroughs in the coming year.

Why I fund philanthropy support organisations: In this blog for Alliance Magazine, Peter Brach of Invest in People makes the case for the funding of philanthropy support and umbrella organisations, arguing that under the right circumstances the outcome can be enormous.

Hedging against unpredictability: A case for general support: This article from Adriana Craciun at Oak Foundation shares some great examples of how foundation core support can be more effective for NGOs than project support. “The assumption that organisations behave with certainty and follow a predictable path…does not reflect the reality of the world around us.”

3 Myths of funder collaboration busted: In this blog for Funders’ Collaborative Hub, Rob Abercrombie draws out some lessons from years of partnership working by busting three common collaboration myths.  

The next Thread will go out on Thursday 18th March. We would love to hear from you! Please contact Hannah Stevens by Tuesday 16th March if you would like to share announcements, events, or resources for the next issue.


Jobs and Tenders

Programme Officer (Non-Discrimination) – Sigrid Rausing Trust: Sigrid Rausing Trust is looking for a Programme Officer to work across its Women’s Rights, LGBTI, and Xenophobia and Intolerance programmes, and to advise other programmes on integrating non-discrimination into their work and on how different forms of discrimination intersect to create exclusion. Location: London, UK. Deadline for applications is 21st February.

Programme Associate, End Violence Investors Forum – Ignite Philanthropy: Ignite Philanthropy is recruiting a Programme Associate to join its End Violence Investors Forum. The successful candidate will lead effective coordination and administration for the Investors Forum; partner with and support the Senior Advisor; and contribute strategically to the Forum’s work. They will collaborate with Forum members and Ignite donors, consultants, grantees and other colleagues to maximise operational efficiency. Location: This is a remote position based in, or no more than one or two hours from, GMT/CET time zones. Deadline for applications is 21st February.

Programme Officer – Ford Foundation: Ford Foundation’s Gender, Racial and Ethnic Justice thematic area is seeking a dynamic, strategic, collaborative Programme Officer to help shape and implement its U.S. Immigrant Rights Portfolio. Grantmaking in this area aims to advance more just and humane immigration policies, with a focus on ending the criminalisation of migrants and the harsh use of law enforcement and border policies to exclude, detain and deport vulnerable people. Location: New York City, USA. Deadline for applications is 26th March.

Head of Communications – Trust for London: Trust for London is recruiting a Head of Communications to help raise the profile of poverty and inequality in the city and show what can be done to tackle it. This is an opportunity for someone with ambition and commitment to shape the Trust’s approach to external communications and make a real difference to the lives of low-income Londoners. The role has responsibility for both digital communications and media relations. This includes managing the website and social channels, as well as contact with journalists, newspapers, radio and television. The role will be responsible for the proactive identification of opportunities for further coverage related to poverty and inequality in London, ensuring that the organisations the Trust supports are placed front and centre. Location: London, UK. Deadline for applications is 15th March.

Portfolio Manager – National Lottery Community Fund: The National Lottery Community Fund is hiring a Portfolio Manager to join its UK Portfolio team. The UK Portfolio sits within the Fund’s newly formed Funding Strategy directorate, a central enabling function that supports the development, innovation and delivery of funding across all funding portfolios. The role has four key strands: team culture and wellbeing; fund-wide engagement; design, development and support of the ‘Explorations Service’ offer; and governance. Location: Multiple Locations, UK. Deadline for applications is 21st February.

Programme Manager (Southern Neighbourhood) – European Endowment for Democracy: The European Endowment for Democracy is looking for a committed and experienced Programme Manager to support its flexible democracy support work in Middle East and North Africa. The successful candidate will be responsible for coordinating and monitoring EED’s programmes in designated countries in the Southern Neighbourhood region. They will assess applications and provide guidance to applicants, monitor the progress of initiatives supported, engage in outreach activities, monitor political developments in the assigned countries, and develop relations with the donor community. Location: Brussels, Belgium. Deadline: 15th March.

Grants Officer – The Fund for Global Human Rights: The Fund for Global Human Rights is seeking a Grants Officer to join its Grants Management team, which is primarily focused on ensuring that resources are reaching frontline activist organisations. The team seeks an Arabic-speaking Grants Officer who will report to the Manager of Grantmaking Operations and manage the Fund’s programmes in the Middle East & North Africa. Location: London, UK. Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, with a final deadline for applications of 31st March. The Fund for Global Human Rights is also recruiting for the Director of its Legal Empowerment Fund.

*For more jobs, see the ‘Career Opportunities’ section on the landing page of the Ariadne portal.


Public Meetings

February 19th
Civil and human rights in the USA in the next four years: A new presidential administration and Congress in the United States offers a unique opportunity to hold elected leaders accountable to strengthen civil and human rights. Join this conversation about reinvigorating rights in the United States and beyond its borders. Participants will hear from activists on the frontlines of social change in the United States and abroad, as well as leaders of democracy and rights organisations. This online event will take place on 19th February. 

February 22nd
Investing in Freedom: How we place ‘leave no one behind’, economic regeneration and modern slavery at the heart of a post-Covid response: Eradicating modern slavery is a moral imperative. But is there also a powerful economic argument to ending it? This is the central argument of the new UN University Developing Freedom report which asks how fighting modern slavery can contribute to sustainable development. It invites us to consider how maximising people’s economic agency will unlock development gains for victims and the global economy and calls for wide-ranging development sector engagement with the anti-slavery agenda. Join Freedom Fund as they bring together leaders in the anti-slavery community and the global development sector to unpick the report’s claim, explore what the development benefits resulting from addressing slavery look like from diverse perspectives and learn what needs to be done to ensure that economic empowerment leads to sustained, continuing freedom for survivors. This online event will take place on 22nd February. 

February 24th
Growing up under COVID-19: Young people speak out: Planned and run by young people, this webinar will present the learning and key findings from the Growing-Up Under COVID-19 project, which is a collaboration between 14-18-year-olds from the UK, Italy, Singapore and Lebanon, and researchers from Ecorys and the University of Huddersfield. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear directly from young people, gain insights into the role and value of participatory action research during the crisis and engage in a questions and answers session and react to the ‘call to action’. This online event will take place on 24th February.

February 25th
Male survivors of wartime sexual violence: Although wartime sexual violence against men occurs more frequently than is commonly assumed, its dynamics are remarkably underexplored, and male survivors’ experiences remain particularly overlooked. This reality is poignant in northern Uganda, where sexual violence against men during the early stages of the conflict was geographically widespread, yet now accounts of those incidents are not just silenced and neglected locally but widely absent from analyses of the war. Based on rare empirical data, Philipp Schulz’s book (the focus of this event) ‘Male Survivors of Wartime Sexual Violence: Perspectives from Northern Uganda’ seeks to remedy this marginalisation and to illuminate the seldom-heard voices of male sexual violence survivors in northern Uganda, bringing to light their experiences of gendered harms, agency, and justice. This online event will take place on 25th February.

February 25th – 28th
Re:Writing the Future 2021: Re:Writing the Future is a digital festival focusing on artistic freedom, spaces of resilience and international solidarity. Exiled artists from around the world, the International Cities of Refuge Network and cultural institutions in Berlin will come together to network and explore the role of the arts in turbulent times. How are urban cultures shaped and revitalised by the experiences of newcomers? How can cultural institutions confront the double challenges of growing illiberalism and the ongoing shutdown? And what role do cities play in times of nationalist thinking and the standstill of cultural life? It’s time to come together to forge new alliances for a different path towards the future. The online festival will take place between 25th and 28th February

February 25th, March 4th and March 11th
Channelling resources into women’s rights: Philanthropic community gender budgeting series: Budgets play a crucial role in shaping the world we live in as they mirror political priorities. The role of women during the Covid-19 pandemic brought to light persistent inequalities between women and men. It is more important than ever that all stakeholders commit to investing in achieving women’s rights and ensuring that every Euro meets society’s values. The European Women’s Lobby has designed a webinar series for the philanthropic community, which will seek to provide an opportunity for participants to engage with the experts and advance their gender equality objectives. You are invited to join to find out how to better analyse and integrate gender budgeting tools into your organisational frameworks. The online sessions will take place on 25th February, 4th March and 11th March.

February 26th
The erosion of press freedom in Turkey: In the two decades that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been in power, press freedom has eroded in Turkey. Under his rule, Turkey has become a top jailer of journalists, and government censorship is on the rise. Voice of America’s new documentary, “Turkey: Breaking the Silence,” profiles citizens, journalists, and activists whose stories help explain the forces driving media repression. The film reveals how deep divisions in Turkish society and politics, combined with autocratic power, have evolved to repress critical news coverage and stifle free speech. Freedom House invites you to a virtual screening of the 40-minute film. Following the film, Nate Schenkkan, director for special research at Freedom House, will lead a discussion on the Turkish press environment with VOA Executive Producer Beth Mendelson. The online event will take place on 26th February.

March 1st – June 30th
Shimmering Solidarity: Global Rights Summit: The Global Philanthropy Project (GPP) and co-convening partners invite you to join Shimmering Solidarity: Global Rights Summit. This four-month virtual series, taking place between March and June 2021, will focus on grantmaker responses to the “anti-gender” movement and related global anti-rights agendas. The Global Rights Summit is an opportunity for grantmakers, philanthropic networks, and aligned colleagues to build shared analysis around anti-rights attacks and strategise towards multi-sectoral progressive philanthropic responses. All admissions provide access to the summit platform, resources, and nearly 50 sessions from March to June 2021.

March 2nd
How the pandemic polarised us: When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the world was plunged into lockdown, nations were unified in the fight against the virus. As time has rolled on, a suffering economy, rising infection and death rates, an historic election, Brexit, and confusion around devolved powers have intensified the divide in political attitudes to ideological extremes. Participants will explore political polarisation in the UK, EU, US and on social media in light of COVID-19, and how democracy can be built back. Speakers: Florian Foos, Assistant Professor in Political Behaviour, Department of Government, LSE; Sara Hobolt, Sutherland Chair in European Institutions and a professor in the Department of Government, LSE; Peter Trubowitz, Professor of International Relations and Director of the US Centre at LSE and Associate Fellow at Chatham House; and Chris Anderson, Professor in European Politics and Policy, European Institute, LSE. This online event will take place on 2nd March.

March 3rd
About open and trusting grant-making: IVAR is working in collaboration with London Funders and a small group of UK foundations and charities who are ambitious for change. They are calling for funders to adopt simpler, more flexible practices that can accommodate and support the ongoing uncertainty and unpredictability caused by Covid-19. They have developed eight commitments to make funder practice more open and trusting. These commitments reflect their dedication to keeping the best of their emergency responses into 2021 and beyond. You are invited to join this session to find out more about the eight commitments to open and trusting grant-making, and our community of practice. This online event will take place on 3rd March.

March 4th
Confronting hate crime: Developing strategies to promote a tolerant society: This symposium, organised by Public Policy Exchange, will offer participants the opportunity to discuss and debate how best to tackle hate crime and improve tolerance in British society. Key Speakers include Paddy Tipping, Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire; Dr Loretta Trickett, Associate Professor in Criminal Law, Criminology and Human Rights, Nottingham Trent University and Unmesh Desai AM, Chair of Police & Crime Committee at London City Hall. This online event will take place on 4th March.

March 8th
MozFest: MozFest is a unique hybrid: part art, tech and society convening, part maker festival, and the premiere gathering for activists in diverse global movements fighting for a more humane digital world. This year, MozFest has eleven Spaces: AI IRL (In Real Life), AI Wellness, Creative AI, Decentralization, Global Culture & Heritage, Neurodiversity, Openness, Shifting Power in Tech, Sustainability, Tech for Social Activism, and Youth Zone. This festival will take place online from 8th March.

Le 11 Mars
Réveil Climat #2: Financer l’Avenir: Comment la crise climatique rejaillit-elle sur vos financements? Participants de cet évènement y seront présentée en exclusivité la traduction française du Guide d’Active Philanthropy – ‘Réveil Climat #2: Financer l’Avenir: Comment la crise climatique rejaillit-elle sur vos financements? Participants’ – réalisée à l’initiative de la CffC avec le soutien du Fonds Vital Stratégies. L’évènement se déroulera le 11 Mars.

March 16th
Addressing homelessness & rough sleeping in the UK & EU: With homelessness continuing to rise and an economic recession starting to take hold, this symposium, organised by Public Policy Exchange, will provide an opportunity for participants to discuss the latest strategies for tackling homelessness and improving the lives of rough sleepers. This online event will take place on 16th March.

Until August 2021
Lit Talks: Global politics and philanthropy 8-part series: In the past couple of months alone, the United States has seen an insurrection, an impeachment, and the dawning of a new presidency. What does this mean for human rights around the world? What is the role of philanthropy in the U.S. and globally amidst this sea of changes? Where is power shifting; politically, economically, and amongst social movements? HRFN’s LitTalks reflect the network’s renewed commitment to open and inclusive philanthropic perspectives. Open philanthropy should look both inward and outward and is always oriented toward justice and understanding. The online talks will take place once a month until August 2021.

Ariadne is supported by the American Jewish World Service, Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Oak Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Sigrid Rausing Trust and Zennström Philanthropies.

Ariadne is also supported by voluntary contributions from its participants.

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