Charity Backpedals Wokeness Amid Uproar — By: Church Militant

WALTHAM, Mass. ( – The National Multiple Sclerosis Society recently placed gender politics over a 90-year-old volunteer whose late husband had MS, but it reversed course after pushback.

Fran Itkoff

This reversal comes after the organization previously asked Fran Itkoff to step down due to statements she made that were deemed not in alignment with the NMSS’s diversity, equity and inclusion policy regarding pronouns. 

The controversy began when the NMSS released a statement about Itkoff on Feb. 15, which it has since removed from its website. 

“Recently, a volunteer, Fran Itkoff, was asked to step away from her role because of statements that were viewed as not aligning with our policy of inclusion,” the statement indicated. 

“We believe that our staff acted with the best of intentions and did their best to navigate a challenging issue,” continued the original statement. “As an organization, we are in a continued conversation about assuring that our diversity, equity and inclusion policies evolve in service of our mission, and will reach out to Fran in service of this goal.”

We believe that our staff acted with the best of intentions

The decision sparked widespread criticism, with many accusing the organization of prioritizing political correctness over the dedication and contribution of a longtime volunteer.

The Reversal

In a new statement Wednesday, NMSS expressed regret for its actions, acknowledging that it had made a mistake in hastily asking Itkoff to step down without further dialogue. 

“Over her 60 years of volunteer service, Fran has been a committed champion for our cause. We had an opportunity to work with her and support her as a self-help group volunteer leader, but as an organization, we fell short,” the statement asserts. 

National MS Society Forces 90-Year-Old Volunteer To Step Down Over Pronoun Usage — Libs of TikTok

The society admitted to not having clear protocols in place and recognized the need for more comprehensive conversations with Itkoff to bridge understanding regarding its diversity and inclusion initiatives.

“We apologized to Fran directly and reached out to her to find a way to continue to work together,” the statement continued. “In the spirit of continuous learning, we are focused on evaluating our processes and fortifying our learning to ensure our team members are equipped on the best ways to implement all of our policies.”

Claims of Nonpartisanship

The NMSS’s statement reaffirmed its nonpartisan stance and dedication to a world free of MS, highlighting the critical role of volunteers in achieving its mission. 

Fran Itkoff & her late husband

It extended an invitation to all who share its vision to join the movement, emphasizing unity and strength in the fight against MS.

The NMSS’s Feb. 15 statement posted on X was unopened to comments, but many are unconvinced of NMSS’s sincerity.

One commenter responded, “Too little, too late, too bad. You already showed your true colors and lack of understanding.”

“If your money wasn’t being threatened you would’ve never made this statement,” replied another.

Further criticism comes from those who argue that the NMSS’s implementation of diversity policies inherently aligns the organization with progressive ideologies closely tied to the Democratic Party. 

This perspective challenges the NMSS’s claims of nonpartisanship, with some community members arguing that the very existence of such policies indicates a political stance.

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