American Cancer Society
My name is Katie -- I am a staff person at the American Cancer Society and a University of Richmond alumna. I am working with a group of students to plan the coming Relay For Life event on Nov. 1, 2008.
The student leadership and I would like to respond to Lauren Grewe's Oct. 9, 2008, opinion article, in which she described her "visceral" reaction to our fliers and to other activities on campus that she believes demonstrate a general lack of social consciousness. First and foremost, we apologize to Lauren and to any one else who was offended by the fliers.
The slogan was not concocted by University of Richmond students; it was taken from a collaborative document compiled during the National Collegiate Leadership Summit last year, when leaders of college Relay For Life events all over the country came together to share ideas that have worked on their campuses. When we borrowed this slogan to use on our campus, we did not adequately consider how insensitive it would appear. Our intent was to draw attention, albeit in a tasteless way.
We recognize, however, that there are other, better ways to get students' attention. With that in mind, we promptly took down those fliers and posted new fliers that embody the vision of Relay For Life and bear a slogan that I think we can all get behind. These fliers say, "One World, One Hope." This means that cancer does not discriminate -- unfortunately, it can and does affect us all. This reflects the unity and empowerment present in communities all over the world as we work toward a common goal - the elimination of cancer as a major health threat. Lastly, it captures the spirit of the worldwide movement to end cancer.
Thank you, Lauren, for holding us to a high standard. We are proud of the work we do to raise much-needed funds for cancer research, education, advocacy and patient services. The students I'm working with are exceptional individuals with good intentions and a common hope. We hope to raise the money that will fund the research to find a cure within our lifetimes. We hope that this will not negatively impact the hard work of so many and the success of this worthwhile endeavor.
We truly want to include the entire campus community in the movement, so please join us around the lake on Nov. 1, 2008, to celebrate, remember, and fight back!
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