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WNBA president and former Atlanta mayoral candidate Lisa Borders is slated to become the first president and CEO of Time’s Up, an organization dedicated to ending sexual assault and harassment in the workplace.
Borders, who ran a painful losing bid for Atlanta mayor in 2009, is the third executive to leave the basketball league in six months.
“This is a natural transition for Lisa knowing what a champion she is for issues involving women's empowerment and social justice,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “And fortunately for us, she leaves the league with strong tail winds propelling it forward.”
In a phone interview with Vanity Fair, Borders said she was not just invited to take the position, effective Nov. 1, “but encouraged—implored—to step forward and be part of this transformational change for women.”
Born to a family of civil rights leaders, namely her grandfather Rev. William Holmes Borders, pastor of Atlanta’s Wheat Street Baptist Church, Borders grew up seeing politicians and icons like the city’s first black mayor Maynard Jackson and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at her grandfather’s Sunday services.
As president of the Atlanta city council (serving from 2004-2010), the Duke University graduate was instrumental in bringing the WNBA to Atlanta in 2008. She also served as chair of The Coca-Cola Foundation and vice present of global affairs for The Coca-Cola Company.
So what will her new gig entail? It’s unclear, as the organization of A-list members like Tracee Ellis Ross, Rashida Jones and Shonda Rhimes has thus far operated without a single leader.
The previously leaderless, volunteer-led initiative “addresses the systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace that have kept underrepresented groups from reaching their full potential,” according to the official website timesupnow.com.
The site describes the movement as “a unified call for change from women in entertainment for women everywhere. From movie sets to farm fields to boardrooms alike, we envision nationwide leadership that reflects the world in which we live.”
Since its debut on New Year’s Day, the initiative has focused on managing a legal defense fund and helping underprivileged women fight against sexual harassment and assault — and retaliation. Time’s Up is also dedicated to advocacy regarding gender parity and is working on creating legislation to better penalize sexual misconduct.