Speak Your Silence Appoints National Board Of Directors

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Nonprofit Attracts Strong Leadership to Broaden Reach and Impact of #TheStitch Campaign

Liz Thompson, Board Chair

An entirely new generation of philanthropists are going to say, "Who needs a bracelet when you can get The Stitch?

Speak Your Silence announced today that it has appointed Elizabeth Thompson and Dr. Shannon Austin to its Board of Directors. Speak Your Silence is a nonprofit on a mission to conquer the stigma of child sexual abuse. The organization accomplishes this via its signature campaign, The Stitch, which it launched in March.

Thompson serves as the CEO for the Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) in New York City. Prior to joining LRF, Thompson served as President of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, where she was responsible for setting strategy and execution of the organization’s $450 million investment in global mission programs — spanning research, advocacy and policy, community health and education, and global health. Thompson earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of South Dakota where she attended the Tom Brokaw School of Communications.

“What an honor it is for me to be joining the Board leadership for Speak Your Silence! I met Matt Pipkin 3 years ago when he came to my offices at Komen filled with energy, determined focus and a joy for life that pushed out the darkness in this issue and paved the way for healing and restoration. In that short time, I've seen him deploy amazing strength, creativity and discernment in creating a strategy for Speak Your Silence. He's put a face on change. And, he's creating a movement with a novel idea; an entirely new generation of philanthropists are going to say, "Who needs a bracelet when you can get The Stitch?” said Thompson, adding, “Speak Your Silence opens the door to healing, to the possibilities of a long, full life. In my mind, that's about as magical as life gets!

Shannon Austin, M.D. FAAP, is a board certified pediatrician and joined Southwest Children’s Center in San Antonio, Texas in 2009. She earned her undergraduate degree at Trinity University and attended both medical school and residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

“As a pediatrician, it is difficult to think about how many people I interact with on a daily basis who are hiding their experiences of abuse and not telling a soul, even under doctor-patient confidentiality,” said Dr. Austin.“ I am excited about how Speak Your Silence is working to make it OK to talk about abuse and assisting those affected in getting the help they need.”

Speak Your Silence’s founding Board members Randy Simon and Sarah Woodley formally complete their terms on July 1. Both will transition to serve on the organization’s Advisory Board.

“A huge thank you to Randy and Sarah for serving since the beginning and for the new roles they’ll continue to play!” said Pipkin. “Since 2012, Liz has been a brilliant business mentor to me as I developed the vision and framework of Speak Your Silence. Shannon works with kids every single day, so our mission is very close to her heart; she brings a powerful perspective, knowledge, and passion to our Board. This is going to be a big year!”

Thompson and Dr. Austin formally begin their terms on July 1, with Thompson assuming the role of Board Chair.

As Speak Your Silence focuses on expanding its national reach and impact, people are encouraged to share a photo of themselves wearing The Stitch in real-life, or with online communities using #TheStitch hashtag.

The Stitch kit is available at http://www.speakyoursilence.org and at various retailers. One hundred percent of profits from The Stitch fund in-person counseling for individuals personally affected by the issue. For all press inquiries, please contact Matt Pipkin at matt(at)speakyoursilence(dot)org or call (208) 918-1208.

About Speak Your Silence

Headquartered in Boise, Idaho, Speak Your Silence (SYS) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to conquering the stigma of child sexual abuse. Its founder, Matt Pipkin, was sexually abused at age 6; after twenty years of secretly carrying fear and shame, his life was changed a few years ago when he finally shared his story. Speak Your Silence fulfills its mission via The Stitch campaign, giving supporters a simple and stylish way to publicly champion this cause. One hundred percent of public donations and profits from The Stitch fund the organization’s world-class counseling program, providing in-person, one-on-one counseling for individuals personally affected nationwide. Currently, individuals in approximately 30 states are enrolled in this program. For more information, visit http://www.speakyoursilence.org.

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Matt Pipkin

Matt Pipkin
since: 11/2009
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