by Marj Plumb, DrPH, Interim Executive Director
Marking a 30th anniversary of an organization is about recognizing the past work and successes, and recommitting to the ongoing necessity of the mission. Breast Cancer Action’s continuity of mission, vision, and voice across three decades speaks to why we continue to do this work: our comprehensive, health justice approach to the breast cancer epidemic continues to ring true to those affected by the disease today, just as it did 30 years ago.
When I joined the Breast Cancer Action team as Interim Executive Director in June, I knew I was entering into a legacy of powerful activists and radically unique perspectives on how to address and end the breast cancer epidemic. My wife Tracy Weitz and I have a long history of involvement with BCAction – from the days of Barbara Brenner as donors and Tracy as board chair, to financially supporting the organization under Karuna Jaggar, and then my joining the executive director search committee at the beginning of the year, to now stepping in as interim executive director.
To mark this amazing organization’s milestone anniversary, we’re bringing you, our committed supporters, a three-part newsletter series highlighting what you’ve made possible over the years. The second edition, focusing on the years 2000 to 2010, includes the years during which our unique strategic approach was formalized. In 2008, Breast Cancer Action fine-tuned its priorities, creating a strategic plan that focused attention on three areas: putting patients before profits in FDA advocacy and breast cancer screening, creating healthy environments, and ending inequities in breast cancer—political, economic, and racial—that lead to disparities in health outcomes.
The current edition of our newsletter series also includes engagement from notable allies such as author Barbara Ehrenreich and Reproductive Justice Founder Loretta Ross – as well as some of our biggest programmatic wins. This decade included our first-ever Think Before You Pink Campaign in 2002, and our historic 2009 campaign that succeeded in getting General Mills to remove the rGBH hormone from Yoplait Yogurt, resulting in the removal of this cancer-causing ingredient in two-thirds of the U.S. market.
What we’ve learned from 30 years is that you as our supporters, our members, and co-conspirators in activism make this work possible. Thank you for your part in this very important work.