Think Before You Pink Goes Rogue is a political education campaign that connects the dots between environmental racism, fossil fuel divestment, and the politics of breast cancer.
How BCAction defines Going Rogue: to behave in a way that is unconventional, rebellious, or independent; runs contrary to established expectations and norms; especially by disregarding the usual way of doing something.
This year, we’re breaking the mold with Think Before You Pink Goes Rogue. We’re expanding beyond Think Before You Pink’s primary focus on corporate accountability and pink ribbon marketing, and building out the campaign to include deeper political education programming, toward the goal of strengthening our community, aligning our shared understandings of the politics of breast cancer, and ultimately to build the collective power necessary to achieve health justice for all.
Many of our community members are experts in BCAction’s programmatic priorities, our perspective on the breast cancer movement, and our longstanding Think Before You Pink campaign. And many of our members are new. To move forward together as we expand the focus of this campaign, we’re offering foundational definitions to ensure alignment for all breast cancer activists who support the work to address and end breast cancer.
How BCAction defines Political Education: the collective process of study, research, and analysis, to develop the shared knowledge, skills, and political alignment necessary to learn to challenge systems of power and achieve collective goals.
Environmental racism is a type of inequality whereby Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities face a disproportionate burden of toxic exposures and environmental hazards. It includes the policies and practices that have disparate impacts (both intended or unintended) on individuals and communities based on race, and the unequal access to a clean and healthy environment.
This disproportionate burden of disease must be addressed in light of the disparities in breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, and mortality of low-income communities and communities of color, when structuring solutions to address and end breast cancer.
Why does divestment matter? Our involuntary exposure to cancer-causing chemicals produced throughout the fossil fuel continuum, from extraction to production, increases with every extreme weather event, meaning our risk of developing breast cancer and other diseases is also rapidly increasing. By stopping the flow of money into the fossil fuel industry, accompanied by a just transition to renewable energy, we can turn the tide toward public health for all communities, especially those on the frontlines of oil and gas infrastructure. This is the strategy that will bring us closer to a sustainable future free of breast cancer.
At BCAction, we address the politics of breast cancer through the intersections of social justice, legislation, and science. This encompasses a wide range of social, economic, and policy-related issues regarding breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, and support for individuals affected by the disease.
We use our organizational voice and our network of partnerships to back policies that will benefit people at risk of and living with breast cancer, because breast cancer has always been political. Who has access to healthcare, effective treatments, and safe and healthy environments is determined by economic inequality, by policies set at the local and federal level, and by the effectiveness of our regulatory agencies.
Think Before You Pink is a critical corporate accountability campaign that BCAction started in 2002 in response to pink ribbon culture and breast cancer “awareness” month. This initiative has encouraged our communities to take a closer look at the ways in which “awareness” and deceptive pink ribbon campaigns are conducted.
How BCAction defines Corporate Accountability Campaign: An organized effort to hold corporations and their leaders accountable for their non-financial impacts on people and the planet, including public health, human rights, and environmental and climate impacts.
Built upon 20 years of bold calls for transparency and accountability, Think Before You Pink has grown beyond the bounds of corporate accountability. Our 20th anniversary was recognized with “A (R)Evolution” in which we looked back on two decades of pink ribbon marketing, tied it all together, and said the quiet part out loud: an unrestrained culture of profit-before-people (i.e., rampant, unregulated capitalism) is the common culprit underlying twenty years of pinkwashing marketing campaigns.
Though not its central tactic, political education has been part of this campaign since its inception, and it forms the foundation of breast cancer activism, galvanizing people across the country who’ve been impacted by this disease to take collective action to address and end the breast cancer crisis.
Now, we’re ready to break new ground again. We’re expanding Think Before You Pink to strengthen our political education programming, to build our collective power and take action toward systemic change.
When Think Before You Pink started in 2002, pink ribbons were everywhere. Corporations launched their “breast cancer awareness” campaigns mid-summer, and touted their pink ribbon products for months, all while lining their pockets.
We coined the term pinkwashing with the launch of our first campaign, and gave people a way to call out this type of pink profiteering. And consumers became more informed. Now we know how to spot and call out pinkwashing, greenwashing, rainbow-washing, and all sorts of consumption-driven corporate nonsense. We changed the culture and altered the landscape of pink ribbon cause marketing.
And now, thanks to the accountability demanded by breast cancer activists, there are fewer meaningless pink ribbon products on the market, offering us the opportunity to do more.
But the hard truth remains: that breast cancer rates are increasing across age groups. We need real action to address and end this disease.
With Think Before You Pink Goes Rogue, we’re ramping up our community engagement and political education to articulate shared goals, and ultimately to raise collective political power to achieve health justice by addressing and ending breast cancer for us all.
October 15, 2023LEARN MORE
October 22, 2023LEARN MORE