MS Society Finally Apologizes For Firing 90-Year-Old Volunteer For Not Using Pronouns While Celebrating DEI
Liudmila Chernetska via Getty Images

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society finally apologized for firing a 90-year-old volunteer who failed to use preferred pronouns while celebrating the diversity, equity, and inclusion movement.

In a rather lengthy statement from the non-profit organization, the MS society wrote that it had apologized “to our longtime, dedicated volunteer Fran Itkoff” after the group asked the volunteer to “step down from her role as a group leader because of statements made that we viewed as not aligning with our recently implemented diversity, equity and inclusion policy.”

“We realize now that we made a mistake, and we should have had more conversations with Fran before making this decision,” the statement read.

“While we acted at the time with the best intentions, we did not have clear protocols in place,” the statement added. “We should have spent more time with Fran to help her understand why, as an organization, we are dedicated to building a diverse and inclusive movement where everyone has equitable access to the care, connections, and support they need to live their best lives. “

“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…”

Itkoff — who’s been offering her time and services to the non-profit for more than 60 years — was let go recently because she “did not understand pronouns,” as previously reported.

Her story ended up going viral after she did an interview with Libs of TikTok documenting her experience. The former volunteer said she received an email claiming she had failed to “abide by [the MS Society’s] Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion guidelines,” which resulted in her being let go.

Speaking to LOTT creator Chaya Raichik, Itkoff said, “I was confused. I didn’t know what it was and what it meant,” when asked about including her pronouns in her email signature.

“I had seen it on a couple of letters that had come in after the person’s name. But I didn’t know what that meant,” she added. “So when I finally talked to [a colleague], I asked what does it mean… And she said that it meant they were all-inclusive, which didn’t make sense to me. Because it sounds like you are labeling for females, not males, if you are just putting in she/her.”

The long-time volunteer said she was asked to step down a few days later. “I was completely shocked,” she said. “I couldn’t believe that … I had to read it a couple of times to see if I’m getting what she said.”

Itkoff told Libs of TikTok she started volunteering, in part, because her husband had MS, a degenerative disease impacting the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves, and continued to volunteer long after his death 20 years ago.

Amanda Harding contributed to this piece.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  MS Society Finally Apologizes For Firing 90-Year-Old Volunteer For Not Using Pronouns While Celebrating DEI