To everything there is a season. . .
The coming months at CCFC will be poignant ones for me. I’ve decided it is time for me to leave the organization I founded and love. My last day will be June 30th. I am as passionate about ending marketing to children as ever. But as CCFC expands and evolves, I believe I have taken it as far as my particular skills and attributes will allow. It’s time for change. I’m thankful that my fantastically competent and committed colleague Josh Golin and a dedicated Board of Directors will carry on this work. Josh will become Executive Director on July 1st.
I’ve been privileged to work closely with so many deeply ethical and effective advocates around the world and with parents, educators, pediatricians, and others who share my commitment to put children first. I’m proud of how much we’ve accomplished since 2000, when I and a handful of colleagues dreamed of building a movement to end advertising to children. Groups around the country were already focused on problems like food marketing, violence, materialism, and sexualization. What we envisioned was an organization devoted to addressing the link between those issues and other problems facing children – the commercialization of childhood. We began with no money, no staff, and a whole lot of people laughing at the quixotic nature of our vision.
Today, CCFC thrives at the forefront of a burgeoning movement. We knew from the start that this was going to be a long, hard struggle. A huge amount of money and power are invested in keeping children as targets for marketing. We may have far to go – but we’re on our way! I’m proud that we’ve faced down Disney, Hasbro, McDonald’s, and other multinational corporations harming children. I’m proud that our action alerts and newsletters reach over 55,000 people. I’m proud that we’re pioneering a program devoted solely to helping parents and caregivers help kids unplug and play. I’m proud of our international reach. I’m proud that we’ve never wavered from our commitment to children, even in the face of harassment and serious threats to our survival. And I’m proud that we have accomplished all of this without ever taking corporate funding.
As for my future, I will continue speaking, writing, and teaching about the vital importance of creative play and the harms of commercialism. Until then, I’m happy to be working closely with Josh and the Board to ensure a smooth transition. I look forward to seeing the new horizons they explore after my departure. And I’m confident in what will never change – CCFC’s integrity, bravery, and determination to stand up for children in a commercialized world.
For a PDF of this letter, please click here.