It’s getting ugly over at the Susan G. Komen for the cure headquarters. Another high profile executive stepped down last week, which has led to a louder drum beating for Komen founder and chief executive, Nancy Brinker, to be relieved of her post.
Now we can add her son and Komen board of director, Eric Brinker, to long list of executives leaving the embattled foundation.
Last week, Dr. Dara P. Richardson-Heron, the chief executive of Komen’s Greater New York City affiliate, said she had made a “personal decision” to resign effective April 27.
According to The New York Times, Katrina McGhee, the executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Komen’s national organization, said late last month that she planned to resign in May, also for personal reasons.
This news follows all the negative headlines this year, threatening the million dollar corporate sponsorships that make Komen the leader in breast cancer research. The fall from grace all started when Komen defunded Planned Parenthood after Florida Republican Cliff Stearns insinuated that he would look into whether or not the family planning organization had used public dollars for abortions.
Once the news broke, most supporters sided with Planned Parenthood, which provides access to contraception, teaching materials, and counseling for primarily low-income women.
Even though Komen rescinded its seemingly baseless decision, heads were rolling inside the foundation, claiming Karen Handel job as its first victim.
Considering that Chane.org’s online petition is still receiving broad support, and considering that Komen does little in low-income areas without the help of Planned Parenthood, many corporate donors are wondering if Komen can resurrect its pristine image.
Thousands of African-Americans walk annually in Komen’s over 200 races for the cure despite the breast cancer foundation attaching its name and pink-washing Genetically Modified Foods like KFC and Yoplait yogurt, which at the time contained Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone, associated with cancer. The company has since removed the rBGH from yogurts.
Recently, according to The Wall Street Journal, an Arizona race fell drastically below what Komen claimed was a “very ambitious” goal.
Now after two New York fund raising events cancelled, it seems as if Komen’s posture is to claim that the people need them — basically, they’re too big too fail.
Mr. Raffaelli, the Komen board member, said it would be unfortunate if the New York affiliate lost financing because it would only penalize women in need of breast cancer screening and treatment.
“The challenge for us now is to reaffirm that politics don’t play any role in picking grantees,” he said. “The challenge for the local affiliates is to reaffirm in their communities how they use their money to fight breast cancer.”
As this story continues to grow, stay close to Frugivore for commentary and news.