Celebrating 20 Years of Kick-Butt Activism

By Belle Shayer, BCA founding member

It’s hard to believe 20 years have passed since we sat around that kitchen table, eight women from a breast cancer support group, determined to do something besides worry. We were determined to make breast cancer a public issue, get Congress to recognize the breast cancer epidemic and provide funds for research, and present facts about breast cancer through a bimonthly newsletter. We turned our frustration into action and thus was born Breast Cancer Action.

I’m proud that over these past 20 years we have been the fearless watchdogs of the breast cancer movement. It hasn’t always been easy, but we’ve stayed in the faces of big pharma, corporations, and the FDA to create positive changes for women living with and at risk for developing breast cancer.

On October 7, 2010, over 300 people came to San Francisco from all over the country to celebrate Breast Cancer Action’s 20th year ofkick-butt activism. I was deeply touched to have been honored as BCA’s only living founding mother and to stand beside activistsBarbara Ehrenreich and Rachel Morello-Frosch, who were also acknowledged for their invaluable contributions to ending the breast cancer epidemic. We also gave special tribute to my dear friend and lifelong activist Barbara Brenner for her 15 years of amazing leadership as executive director of Breast Cancer Action.

We must acknowledge that it wasn’t just individuals who advanced our work, so we were privileged to honor organizations whose work exemplifies BCA’s priorities. Our Bodies, Ourselves has continued to put patients before corporate profits. Pesticide Action Network North America is a leader in reducing involuntary exposure to toxins in the environment. California Latinas for Reproductive Justice works to create better health outcomes for Latina women within a social justice framework. We continue to be inspired by the work of these organizations.

There are so many more activists and organizations to thank, including you. Breast Cancer Action is alive and well because of your commitment to creating a world that is better for each oncoming generation of women. Thank you for continuing to take actionthrough your support of BCA’s work. Together, we will end the breast cancer epidemic.

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PHOTOS
Photographer Anita Bowen (login: bca_anniversary)
Photo Booth photos

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SPONSORS
SPECIAL THANKS

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