Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 40, Ed. 1 Friday, February 17, 2012 Page: 10 of 56
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From Page 6
then that Handel was just a symptom of the
Komen board and CEO, Nancy Brinker, who
Lorri L. Jean, CEO of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian
Center, the largest LGBT community organiza-
tion in the country, was one of the first to issue a
Statement on Feb. 1, saying Komen "has stun-
ningly decided to shun its mission by siding with
right-wing extremists rather than with low in-
come women — including large numbers of les-
bians and transgender women—at risk of breast
cancer." Many other groups and individuals crit-
icized Komen's decision, too, some vowing to
withhold contributions and participation in
Komen's highly popular "Race for the Cure"
Liz Margolieg, executive director of the Na-
tional LGBT Cancer Network, said her group has
never received Komen funding but said the de-
funding of Planned Parenthood would have been
"a blow to the health of the LGBT community."
LGBT people, she said, experience "increased ob-
stacles in accessing care and difficulty finding cul-
turally competent providers," along with lower
rates of health insurance, coverage. Planned Par-
enthood filled this gap for many LGBT people.
The Komen controversy raised additional con-
cerns about future funding for LGBT health serv-
The Mautner Project, a national lesbian health
organization, currently has a $200,000, two-year
grant from the central Komen organization's Na-
tional Capital Area Grants Program in Washing-
ton, D.C. The money forms approximately 10
percent of Mautner's total budget. Leslie Caiman,
executive director of the Mautner Project, said in
an interview that Komen has been an "extremely
generous donor." Mautner received a $500,000,
two-year, capacity-building grant between 2008
and 2010 that "saved the Mautner Project" when
it had been in danger of going under, she said.
In Chicago, Howard Brown Health Center re-
ceived a $75,000 grant from Komen's local affili-
ate in 2010 to support its Breast Health Awareness
Peer Educator Project, "designed to encourage
breast health conversation and education among
sexual minority women of color over 40.'*
Cindi Creager, a spokesperson for New York
City's LGBT Community Center, said the Center
has received "varying levels of funding" from
Komen Greater NYC since 2004, most recently, an
$80,000 grant in 2010. The Center has a grant ap-
plication pending for 2012.
Nurit Shein, executive director of the Mazzoni
Center in Philadelphia, said her center has re-
ceived $30,000 this year from Komen's Philadel-
phia affiliate to do "education, clinical breast
exams, and referrals to mammograms," and has
received similar grants for several years.
Wendy Stark, executive director of the Callen-
Lorde Community Health Center in New York
City, said the Komen affiliate has funded that
Center for over 10 years. Dr. Anita Radix, director
of research and education at Callen-Lorde; sits on
Komen's National Multicultural Advisory Board.
Among other things, Komen money supports the
"very critical position" of a case manager in
women's health at Callen-Lorde. "We've found
them to be very supportive of LGBT health," said
The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center has not re-
ceived grants from Komen, but Jim Key, chief
public affairs officer for the Center, said that, even
though Komen reversed its decision regarding
Planned Parenthood, the L.A. Center still "[finds]
it distressing that the foundation was so willing
to play politics at the expense of vital services
such as breast cancer screenings.''
"If pro-choice organizations are first, we can't
help but wonder if LGBT organizations are next,"
Nurit Shein in Philadelphia agreed, saying that
Komen's hiring of the anti-gay Handel made her
wonder/," Are lesbians next?" after the defunding
of Planned Parenthood.
Shein also sits on Komen's National Multicul-
tural Advisory Board, which addresses: issues of
the LGBT community, among others. She said in
an interview that she has been "sharing our dis-
appointment and concerns" with Komen officials
about the controversy. But she said the situation
also indicates a "disconnect" between Komen's
local affiliates and its national headquarters. The
Philadelphia affiliate "has been a true partner
with us," she asserted.
In Massachusetts, the state Komen affiliate in
2011 funded the annual Audre Lorde Cancer
Awareness Brunch at Boston's Fenway Health.
Audre Lorde was a lesbian activist and writer
who died in 1992 from breast cancer.
Boston's Fenway Health Center spokesperson
Philip Finch said, "We'd certainly be receptive to
their funding it in the future, as long as they have
policies which are supportive of women and
women's health," such as the policy to fund
Planned Parenthood again.
In a statement Feb. 3, Komen's Brinker said,
"We have been distressed at the presumption that
the changes made to our funding criteria were
done for political reasons or to specifically penal-
ize Planned Parenthood. They were not." She
added that Komen will amend its grantmaking
criteria "to make clear that disqualifying investi-
gations must be criminal and conclusive in nature
and not political."
And the Maunter Project's Caiman said
Komen had been "scrupulously apolitical" until
the Planned Parenthood defunding, even though
Brinker is a Republican and served as a presiden-
tial appointee under President George W. Bush.
Caiman noted that Mollie Williams, Komen's
managing director of community health pro-
grams, who resigned in protest at the defunding
of Planned Parenthood, sits on the Mautner Proj-
ect Technical Advisory Council and has been "a
good friend to the Mautner Project."
Caiman said she had been "alarmed and dis-
mayed" at Komen's decision to defund Planned
Parenthood, and characterized it as "a huge mis-
step." But she said that, going forward, she looks
forward to "continued support" from Komen.
Shein of Philadelphia said she would like to
hear "a stronger statement" from Komen about
"mixing politics and philanthropy," but is "glad"
the national organization reversed its decision.
I KOMEN, Next Page
10 dallasvoice.com ■ 02.17.12
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Wright, John. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 40, Ed. 1 Friday, February 17, 2012, newspaper, February 17, 2012; Dallas, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth239207/m1/10/: accessed August 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.