The Rho family GTPase Cdc42 is a key regulator of eukaryotic cellular organization and cell polarity. In this work Mutavchiev et.al. uncover a link between stress signaling and Cdc42-dependent cell polarity in fission yeast. They show that dispersal of the Cdc42 polarity module from growth sites after treatment with the actin drug latrunculin A depends on Sty1, a homolog of mammalian p38 MAP kinase. Activation of Sty1 alone is also sufficient for dispersal.