Dear Stigma Fighters Community,
I wanted to take a moment to thank you for being here over the years. What I am about to say isn’t easy but it needs to be said. I am ashamed to write this letter. But here goes:
This is Sarah Fader, the co-founder and CEO. For years I have struggled with financial problems and managing money, due to my own issues but further exacerbated by Bipolar Disorder.
But that is not an excuse for what I’m about to write.
I have been using some of the Stigma Fighters money, allotted for the nonprofit, for personal use. I am extraordinarily remorseful for my actions, and their effect on the mental health community, who trusted me. I am incredibly sorry to Allie Burke, Executive Director of Stigma Fighters, Sarah Comerford, Vice President of Stigma Fighters, and Jason Thames, Secretary of Stigma Fighters.
My personal decision to use company funds for my use does not have anything to do with the other members of the organization. I did this alone. And I hid my behavior because I was ashamed. I knew what I was doing was wrong. Allie Burke, Sarah Comerford, and Jason Thames have been loyal, diligent, and honest members of the board of directors and I have let them down. For that I am incredibly sorry, and I will never forgive myself.
The Board of Directors and I have had meetings about this issue and I have made an arrangement with the remainder of the board to return the funds that were used back into the nonprofit. I am dedicated to finding a therapeutic approach to help myself do better with these issues.
I wanted to address another issue of inclusivity that has been brought to my attention.
Stigma Fighters is an inclusive community. We value diversity of all races, cultures, religions, genders, and sexual orientations. I want to cultivate a safe space for everyone, but I found my ability lacking in this area. I apologize for any failing I had to promote inclusivity. I will put in the work to be a better ally.
I have decided, for the best interests of Stigma Fighters, to resign from the position of CEO, and to hand off the nonprofit to the competent Board of Directors.
Thank you again for sharing your stories with us and all the support you have given to myself and the community over the last 6 years. It has been my honor to hear your voices.