- Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
- Best decision ever: Joining Breast Cancer Action
- Most unusual job: Wrangler
Karuna Jaggar joined Breast Cancer Action (BCAction) as Executive Director in early 2011. Karuna brings a lifelong commitment to social justice and a strong background in nonprofit management and growth.
Under her leadership, Breast Cancer Action has grown in size and reach. Building on the strong legacy of BCAction’s founders and past leaders, BCAction is today a leading source of independent information about breast cancer through one-of-a-kind educational materials, internationally acclaimed webinars, and a strong grassroots Community Leaders program. Today BCAction is a national leader in the anti-fracking movement and has grown its Think Before You Pink® campaigns, including the 2014 campaign challenging Susan G. Komen and Baker Hughes’ pink drill bits “for the cure” which was featured on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
Karuna’s vision helped guide BCAction’s adoption of a bold new strategic plan in 2014 that made health justice central to the organization’s mission. Karuna serves on the Breast Cancer Research Council of the California Breast Cancer Research Project, helping guide the funding strategy and direct grants to breast cancer research that is innovative, collaborative and responsive to the needs of women living with and at risk of the disease.
Karuna strives to bring an inclusive leadership style to Breast Cancer Action, valuing a diversity of voices and experiences as well as making space for people to bring their unique talents to the organization. Throughout her 15-year career in nonprofit leadership, Karuna’s work has focused on women’s rights and on eliminating socio-economic inequities. Karuna began her career working with women’s microenterprises internationally and in the U.S., providing self-employment and business training, funding and support for low-income women. Prior to joining BCAction, Karuna was Executive Director at the Women’s Initiative for Self Employment. Karuna has served on the Board of the California Association of Microenterprise Opportunity (CAMEO) where she chaired the Policy Committee.
Karuna holds a Master’s degree in Economic Geography from UC Berkeley, with a special emphasis on Women, Gender, and Sexuality, and received her BA in Philosophy from Smith College. Karuna is an alumna of the Women’s Policy Institute, a program of the Women’s Foundation of California. Karuna is an unapologetic patient advocate for loved ones who have undergone treatment for breast cancer. She is the parent of two daughters and aunt to two nieces, all between the ages of 7 and 10.
- Favorite travel moment: Shocking the locals in her mother’s hometown (in the Philippines) as she, in their dialect, bargained for a discount on souvenirs
- Recent discovery: Korean dramas on Netflix
- Relaxing techniques: Meditating, crafting, (mainly greeting cards and bookmarks), and writing Yelp reviews
Marie plans, leads and implements all of BCAction’s special events. She ensures that all events and fundraising activities, including events hosted by BCAction members and supporters, uphold BCAction’s corporate contributions policy and are aligned with our mission. She comes to BCAction with over 10 years of non-profit experience in healthcare and nearly seven of those in development, coordinating special events. Affected by breast cancer, she is passionate about BCAction’s mission and work, and looks forward to doing her part to make strides in creating change to end the epidemic. She is a San Francisco native who only left the city she loves to attend the University of California, Santa Barbara where she received a BA in Communications and Asian American Studies.
- Originates from: Bronx, NY
- Enjoys: Good food/fun travel; facing and overcoming fears; living life together with my amazing husband
- Favorite Adventure: Swimming with penguins in the Galapagos Islands
Joyce works closely with the Executive Director in support of the program, administrative, finance, and human resource functions of Breast Cancer Action. A cancer survivor and lifelong activist, Joyce brings to BCAction strong leadership skills and an extensive background in cancer support and not-for-profit management. She is the author of Joyce Bichler: DES Daughter, which details her cancer experience and how she stood up to the pharmaceutical industry. Joyce received her MSW from the University of Michigan.
- Most visited website: Wikipedia
- Usual state: Caffeinated
- Left her heart in: Iowa
Caitlin works closely with the program, development, and communications teams to keep BCAction members up to speed on breast cancer news and action and manages BCAction’s social media, newsletter, e-alerts, and blog. Caitlin loves BCAction’s members and encourages you to get in touch, especially if you’d like to write for BCAction’s blog or newsletter. Caitlin believes strongly in the power of grassroots activism to achieve social change, and loves BCAction for its unapologetic advocacy on behalf of women at risk of and living with breast cancer. Caitlin holds a B.A. in Political Science from Grinnell College. Before coming to Breast Cancer Action, she worked at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area.
- Passionate about: Photography, creative collaboration & youth work
- Favorite photographers: Francesca Woodman & Elliott Erwitt
- In her next life: A Dancer with the London-based company DV8
Zoë wears many hats: As BCAction’s Resource Liaison, she connects those seeking information and assistance with the resources they’re looking for regarding detection, treatment, and prevention of breast cancer, as well as BCAction’s environmental and health equity work. As a member of the extended program team, she works to strengthen our local campaign presence and manages our Volunteer Program. She also coordinates all aspects of our working environment. Zoë holds a Masters Degree in transpersonal psychology, and after 15 years working in the trenches of crisis intervention and support, today, when she’s not serving as a mentor for underserved youth, she can be found meandering the streets with a camera, cooking dinner with friends, or practicing joy as a member of a community dance group.
- Home is: the Jersey Shore
- When my headphones are in, I’m listening to: This American Life
- Perfect 24 hours: Hiking by day, dancing by night
Alyssa is part of the program team and works on developing and implementing Breast Cancer Action’s campaigns, including its award-winning Think Before You Pink® campaign. She also works on expanding and engaging BCAction’s national membership. Alyssa comes to BCAction as a long-time social justice advocate and independent journalist, including most recently as Activism Editor at Alternet. She deeply respects BCAction’s fearless work in addressing the root causes of breast cancer and demanding health justice for all women. Alyssa believes it’s crucial to build a grassroots movement that pushes for an end to pinkwashing and calls for real action that puts people before profit.
- Became a feminist in: Los Angeles
- Most unusual job: Professional Faerie
- Finds everything on: Craigslist
Moorea is grateful to continue her experience in non-profit fundraising within our women’s health social justice organization. At the International School of the Peninsula, she was engaged in community-building and cohesion within development. She draws on this experience to build a network of volunteers who drum up support for BCAction’s work. Her focus is building our Workplace Giving and Car Donation programs.
Moorea studied the enormous scope and urgency of structural challenges faced by women while earning her BA in Social Anthropology and French at UCLA. She is completing her MA in Anthropology at San Francisco State University, where she further hones her intuition for challenging the status quo.
- Childhood hometown: Venice Beach, CA
- Circus skills: Walking on stilts & juggling
- Enjoys: Playing at the beach with my family, baking and reading a good book with a cup of hot tea
Sahru is part of the program team and works on educating the public on issues of health inequities related to breast cancer and mobilizing BCAction’s national partners on inequities issues. Sahru’s mission as a public health practitioner is to work towards ending the devastating effects of discrimination and oppression on health. As a woman of color, she feels compelled to work to end disparities in health and address the injustices in healthcare delivery that disproportionately affect communities of color. Sahru received her B.A. in Biology from University of California, Santa Cruz and a Masters of Public Health from San Francisco State University. She has two wonderful and amazing children.
- Hails from: Ann Arbor, MI
- Enjoys: pretty much all books, fitness-y things, children (especially her own) and her husband most of the time
- Passionate about: advocating for people affected by addiction
Molly is currently working toward her Master of Public Policy at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy (go blue!), and hopes to build upon her skills as an activist through her work with BCAction. As a counselor at a nonprofit detox facility for alcoholics and addicts, Molly’s experience in service delivery to underserved and vulnerable populations drives her personal mission to work to rectify disparities in health and mental health outcomes across income brackets, races, gender identities and diagnoses through more accessible care and more transparent legislation governing the quality and quantity of treatment options available.