Nancy Brinker may have stepped down from her position as Komen CEO, but former supporters want to ensure she won't be doing any backseat driving.
After Brinker announced she would retain her position on the breast cancer charity's board of directors and chair of its executive committee, the pressure started to mount for her to not only step down, but to step aside. Completely.
Eve Ellis, a former board member who called on Brinker to resign in February, has now launched a Change.org petition asking Brinker to "relinquish power." The petition reads:
"In the interest of the underserved women with breast cancer, in the interest of finding cures for breast cancer, in the interest of women's health, we urge Nancy Brinker to step aside and let Susan G. Komen for the Cure reclaim its public trust."
Andrea Rader, Komen's headquarters communication director, told the Chronicle of Philanthropy that she had heard about the petition, but the organization did not "have any reaction to it."
Ellis, a financial advisor who sits on the board of Ms. Foundation for Women, a social justice policy organization, calls for new leadership and implores Brinker to recognize that, for the sake of breast cancer research funding, she disassociate herself with Komen altogether.
Brinker told the Wall Street Journal last week that the leadership shakeup was unrelated to the controversy early this year when the largest breast cancer charity in the world cut funding for Planned Parenthood and later reversed the decision.
"I apologized to everyone," she told the Journal. "I think we all made mistakes and we addressed them and we're through that and we're moving on."
The Change.org petition points out that fundraising is down at local affiliates, citing canceled fundraising events in New York and cutbacks on open office days in Arizona.
In the meantime, a new study from the National Breast Cancer Coalition reveals that the fight against breast cancer has lagged and that the public perception of breast cancer research progress is misguided. (h/t Daily Beast). The report attributed the misguidance, in part, to the fact that the media have been consumed by the Komen firestorm.
“During the past year, women’s health issues, including breast cancer, were embroiled in controversy," the report notes. "The nature and extent of the fallout, both on political support for women’s health issues, and on fundraising around breast cancer and other women’s issues, remains to be seen."
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