Posted on October 30, 2023

By KR, Executive Director

Thank you for joining us for our 2023 Think Before You Pink® Goes Rogue campaign during Breast Cancer “Awareness” Month, or as we’ve coined it, Breast Cancer ACTION Month™️.

This year’s campaign expanded beyond Think Before You Pink’s traditional areas of focus – corporate accountability and pink ribbon marketing. We dove deeper into our political education programming toward the goal of strengthening our community, aligning our shared understanding of the politics of breast cancer, and ultimately, building the collective power necessary to address and end breast cancer.

We connected the dots between environmental racism, fossil fuel divestment, and the politics of breast cancer, and provided ways to take action on each of these issues. 

Here’s a week-by-week breakdown of the highlights of this campaign:

Environmental Racism

In order to take on the breast cancer crisis that includes disparities in treatment and outcomes, we honed in on environmental racism. By aligning our understanding of these concepts, we provide the impetus to take ACTION and stop breast cancer before it starts.

See our full materials on environmental racism and breast cancer, through the lens of Think Before You Pink Goes Rogue.

This week was full of interactive activities. We shared an GIS Mapping tool so you can see how environmental racism affects your community. Our Program and Campaign Intern, Ashley Jahja, and myself and went live on Instagram, and we took action together on the Environmental Justice for All Act.

This bill will establish several environmental justice requirements, advisory bodies, and programs to address environmental racism. These policy reforms will rectify decades of unfair environmental harm done to low-income communities and Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities.

Add your name now and tell Congress to support this necessary piece of legislation. We’ll keep community members updated on the progress of this bill as it develops beyond our October campaign.

Fossil Fuel Divestment

This week, our campaign explored fossil fuel divestment and how we can use divestment strategies, individually and collectively, to impact the breast cancer crisis.

The fossil fuel industry has fueled the breast cancer crisis as well as the climate crisis, which have exponentially affected people with and at risk for breast cancer. The potential impact of our collective divestment holds the greatest promise for dismantling the fossil fuel industry. 

Read our full materials on divestment, fossil fuels, and what this means for breast cancer.

This week we heard from climate movement leader Tamara Toles O’Laughlin who spoke on fossil fuel divestment and why it’s necessary for the protection of public health and the environment. Tamara was interviewed by BCAction Program Manager Haleemah Atobiloye at our annual event, Radical Disruption Compassionate Resistance. Watch the hard-hitting conversation now.

Together, we urged the California Assembly to phase out fossil fuels with Senate Bill 252, the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill.

SB 252 will require CalPERS and CalSTRS, the two largest public pension funds in the country, to divest over $14 billion from fossil fuel companies. Add your name now and demand we phase out toxic fossil fuels. 

The Politics of Breast Cancer

This week was an inside look into how Breast Cancer Action analyzes, supports or opposes, and takes action on legislation that impacts the breast cancer community.

We address the politics of breast cancer at the intersection of social justice, legislation, and science. This encompasses a wide range of policy issues regarding breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, and support for individuals affected by the disease.

See our full materials including a breakdown of our policy priorities and the criteria that guide our endorsements.

We heard from expert and ally Nichole Warwick, Co-Founder and Director of Sonoma Safe Ag, Safe Schools, and the Executive Director of the Blue Zones Petaluma initiative. Nichole spoke about her own community, Sonoma County, CA, on how political decisions determine who has access to safe environments, free from cancer-causing chemicals, and what this means for breast cancer.

This week we came together for collective action on the Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) Access to Care Act which calls for a waiver of the 24-month waiting period to obtain Medicare coverage, and the 5-month waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, for eligible individuals with MBC.

It’s not too late! Add your name now and urge your Representative to support this critical legislation.

Legislative Advocacy Day

All three of our campaign actions were amplified during our October 26 (virtual and super easy) Legislative Advocacy Day.

This all-day event was just like a Lobby Day – except you didn’t have to show up at your capitol and you didn’t have to talk to legislators. You just needed to add your name three times! And you can still participate! Take Action on:

We’ll keep you updated on each of these bills, beyond Think Before You Pink.

In The News

The power of Think Before You Pink was heard loud and clear throughout October.

Our work and our history in addressing pinkwashing was featured in five recent pieces, including:

From “More Than Pink” by Philippa Hetherington:

“The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) was the inspiration for… Breast Cancer Action, founded in 1990. Breast Cancer Action refused to produce the depoliticised material that came out of mainstream groups like Komen, and focused instead on lobbying for more research and probing into the causes of breast cancer. This also linked certain corners of the breast cancer movement with the environmental movement, as activists focused on possible carcinogenic chemicals and pollutants.”

This was true then, and it is true to this day, as highlighted in this year’s focus on the politics of breast cancer.  

Thank you for joining us in action, in this campaign, and in going rogue.

By strengthening our grassroots advocacy and civic engagement programming with Think Before You Pink Goes Rogue, we’re building collective power and taking action toward systemic change – to address and end breast cancer – and we couldn’t do it without you.