Komen's Knight in Shining Armor: A Sad Day for Women
Two well-respected, organizationally senior women have resigned from the Susan G. Komen Foundation. At the same time, the public calls for the Founder and Chief Executive, also a woman, to resign are increasing substantially.
And who does the Foundation use as the voice of the embattled charity? A man. This is a very sad day for women - on so many different levels.
The Susan G. Komen Foundation is, both individually and corporately, one of the most successful fund-raising charities. With their pink ribbons and "Race for the Cure" events, they have brought the issue and treatment of breast cancer to a level of awareness for which they deserve real credit. They've saved lives.
But then their CEO, Nancy G. Brinker, made the utterly ridiculous, politically motivated, bad business decision to remove Komen's funding to Planned Parenthood. Now, even though that decision was quickly reversed, not only do they have resignations from well-respected senior members of the organization at both the local and national level, but they're having to cancel fundraising events.
Their fear - and rightfully so - is that they won't get the uptake they were historically able to expect. People aren't so sure anymore that the Komen Foundation is the right place to put their money to protect women's health.
What makes this so interesting, however, is that the organization somehow decided that it now made sense for a man to become the voice of the Foundation. In a statement on behalf of Komen's Board, John D. Raffaelli, a Board member and Washington-based lobbyist, said:
We have complete confidence in the leadership of this organization, and in Susan G. Komen's fundamental strength as an organization delivering research, community health programs, global outreach and advocacy for people facing breast cancer.
Further, in a phone interview with a New York Times' reporter, he added, "I don't think anybody can question Nancy Brinker's commitment to finding a cure for breast cancer."Continued on the next page