Jun 12, 2020 - Technology

Crisis Text Line CEO ousted after staff accusations of racism

Nancy Lublin

Nancy Lublin attends 2019 Forbes Healthcare Summit in December 2019 in New York City. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Crisis Text Line CEO Nancy Lublin was ousted by the nonprofit's board of directors on Friday, in response to allegations of racism and mistreating staff.

The big picture: The crisis hotline has emerged as a key mental health resource — particularly for younger people — amid the coronavirus pandemic, as individuals grapple with how to cope in a drastically changed world.

  • Lublin's termination — effectively immediately, per the board — follows a stream of Twitter posts that used the hashtag #notmycrisistextline alongside allegations of micro-aggressions and abuse.

What they're saying: "Crisis Text Line is not the safe and welcoming place it should be," the board of directors wrote to staff in a letter on Friday. "We recognize and apologize for our role in enabling this environment to persist. We take full accountability and are ready to address these issues head-on. No form of racism or bullying of any kind will be tolerated at Crisis Text Line."

  • Anti-racist trainings for board members will begin in July, the board told staff.
  • In light of nationwide Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality and misconduct, the company is also examining alternatives to sending law enforcement to help those in crisis who use the hotline, saying: "We are committed to saving lives, but must balance between the life-saving work of active rescues and the potential risks associated with sending law enforcement to people's homes."

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