For over a decade, Breast Cancer Action has been taking on pinkwashers: corporations and organizations that peddle products linked to breast cancer while claiming to care about women with the disease. We always think it can’t get worse—until it does. Read More
Author Archives: caitlin
By Jeanette Koncikowski, BCAction Community Leader for Change
My mom, Rosemary, was diagnosed in 2000 with Stage 3 breast cancer. When we told friends and family about my mom’s diagnosis, there was an immediate outpouring of support. People made meals. They helped with transportation to chemo. People sent cards and called daily. We met survivors and made cherished friends. Our community gave us solace. And they gave us pink ribbons. My mom didn’t really need them because she already had a bunch. She already wore a pink ribbon lapel pin; there was a pink ribbon magnet on the fridge; and she had accumulated quite a collection of pink ribbon t-shirts from walks and runs for the cure to honor her younger sister, who had been diagnosed a few years before her. Read More »
Breast Cancer Awareness Month (or as we call it, “Breast Cancer Industry Month”) is around the corner.
Over the years we’ve seen it all: pink fracking drill bits for breast cancer, pink doughnuts, pink trashcans, pink handguns. Unfortunately, a whole lot of pink ribbon promotions do more for a corporation’s bottom line than for women at risk of or living with breast cancer. And some pink ribbon products even harm our health because they contain cancer-linked toxins, a hypocritical practice we call pinkwashing. Read More »
For 25 years, Breast Cancer Action has put women’s health first. Our founders never imagined that 25 years after they gathered in a living room together, BCAction would be 60,000 strong. Thank you for being part of this amazing grassroots community committed to women’s health and social justice.
Please join us on October 8 for our 25th anniversary event where we’ll honor all we’ve achieved together and recommit to all the work still left to do.
Breast Cancer Action’s 25th anniversary event
Thursday, October 8, 6 – 9:30PM
465 California Street, 16th Floor, San Francisco, CA
Get your ticket today. Come with your friends and enjoy an additional 10% discount on a table for eight.
We’re thrilled that Rose Aguilar, longtime host of KALW’s show Your Call, will emcee the event. And we’ll be honoring acclaimed biologist, author and activist Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D. with the Barbara Brenner Hell Raiser Award for her exceptional work on environmental toxins linked to breast cancer.
I feel so grateful for all you do to support BCAction. I hope you can join us on October 8 to honor 25 years of independent, grassroots activism for women’s health.
We’re so close! You have one more day to help Breast Cancer Action raise $12,500, which will be doubled for a total of $25,000! Read More »
By Ngina Lythcott, BCAction Board member
I’ve been living with breast cancer for 27 years. My diagnosis was terrifying and I know how important it is to have accurate, evidence-based information about this disease from a trusted source. I serve on the Board of Directors of Breast Cancer Action because I believe that every woman needs independent information about treatment decisions, free of charge. Read More »
By Shobita Parthasarathy, BCAction Board member
My name is Shobita, and I’m a member of Breast Cancer Action’s all-volunteer Board of Directors. For more than ten years, I’ve admired BCAction’s fiercely independent advocacy on behalf of women’s health, and I was honored to join the Board in 2014. Read More »
We are the all-volunteer national Board of Directors who love Breast Cancer Action and donate our time and talent to steward this powerful grassroots organization.
Breast Cancer Action depends on members like you to fund our vital and independent work. As the Board of Directors, we are acutely aware of the need for its independent, unbiased work to continue.
That’s why we, along with several former Board members, are pledging to match your donation dollar-for-dollar up to $12,500 between now and June 30th.
Donate today to double your gift. Help us raise $25,000 for Breast Cancer Action, in recognition of 25 years of fearless activism for women affected by breast cancer.
Like you, we each bring something unique to this work. We range in age from our 20s to our 80s. We live in seven states across the country. Some of us have been diagnosed with breast cancer; others have lost a loved one to the disease. But we are all united by our passion for and commitment to Breast Cancer Action.
We must meet this match by June 30th, the end of our fiscal year. Your support means we know we will have the funds to advance our work. Please join us by making a donation today.
Your generous donation will support our work as the watchdog on screening, diagnosis, and treatment issues. Work like:
- One-on-one patient support that provides invaluable evidence-based, independent resources for women and their caregivers.
- Ensuring that drugs and devices approved by the FDA are safe and effective by testifying about new breast cancer treatments and pushing back against legislation that threatens to weaken patient safety standards.
- Responding to breaking breast cancer news with tell-it-like-it-is analysis so that women have evidence-based information that goes beyond the media headlines.
BCAction’s strict conflict of interest policy means we’ll never take corporate funding from companies that profit from or contribute to breast cancer. Your support matters now more than ever. Donate today—your gift will be doubled by a dollar-for-dollar match up to $12,500.
Thank you for your commitment to and support of Breast Cancer Action.
Breast Cancer Action’s current and former Board of Directors
By Julie Morgan, Member, BCAction Board of Directors
In 2011, when I was 37, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was devastating to me and my whole community.
My friends and family wanted to show their support and love while I was going through treatment. I was pretty vocal from early on after my diagnosis that I wasn’t into the pink ribbon culture. And even years before my diagnosis I voiced my concerns about carcinogens being sold in the name of breast cancer. Read More »
By Sahru Keiser, Program Manager
Every year it starts earlier and earlier. Companies jump on the breast cancer bandwagon with their pink ribbon promotions. The latest outrageous example? A porn company is asking women to hold a Coke can between their breasts and take a picture to “raise awareness of breast cancer.”
Our 2015 Think Before You Pink® campaign planning is starting now. Here’s how you can help and get involved:
- Send us the worst, most offensive, egregious pink ribbon products or promotions you are seeing. Member input is vital to our campaign planning. What pink ribbon products and promotions are you seeing that push empty “awareness,” spread misinformation, simply boost corporate profits, increase our risk of breast cancer, degrade women, and obscure the harsh realities of the disease? Join us in pushing back on pink ribbon promotions that prioritize corporate profits and do nothing for women’s health. Send your examples to Alyssa Figueroa, BCAction’s Campaigns Coordinator.
- Support our activism by starting your own “Don’t Pink for Me©” fundraising page. Each year members like you tell us your friends and family want to support you. Don’t Pink for Me© emerged as a direct response to everyone who is tired of Big Pink. Help keep us independent by asking your community to make a donation to Breast Cancer Action in your honor instead of buying pink ribbon products. It’s easy! Just go to http://dontpinkforme.causevox.com/ to create your fundraising page today. Help us meet our fundraising goal in June.
We depend on you, our members, who join us to demand accountability and transparency from corporations and charities engaged in pink ribbon marketing and promotions. You are the reason we can go toe-to-toe with the cancer industry. You are the reason we are independent and able to do this vital work that no other breast cancer organization is doing.
Thank you for joining us to stand up to pink profiteering in the name of women’s health.
This year marks Breast Cancer Action’s 25th anniversary – 25 years as the watchdog for the breast cancer movement.
For 25 years, we have challenged the status quo in breast cancer to ensure that women’s health comes first. Since our fearless founders came together to create Breast Cancer Action, we have been driven and supported by people like YOU. And we’ve grown from 8 founders to a grassroots membership of 60,000 today. Read More »
Everyone who knew Barbara Brenner personally or by reputation knows she was fearless and direct in her questions and in her answers. One of her favorite lines was “change happens only because we demand it.” She taught me that if you don’t ask, you won’t get. Today, I am taking Barbara at her word. Read More »
Our executive Director Karuna Jaggar talked with Samantha Bee of The Daily Show about why pink drill bits “for the cure” are ludicrous and not the solution to the breast cancer epidemic – and why BCAction will never take corporate funding from any company that profits from or contributes to breast cancer. Support our independent voice and make a year-end gift today.
This #GivingTuesday, two of our long-time and generous supporters – Shay Berkowitz and Phyllis Wiener of Still Ain’t Satisfied, A Foundation with Attitude – will match every dollar you donate to Breast Cancer Action up to $10,000 ending midnight on Tuesday. Read More »
If you haven’t heard, we’ve moved. And our new ‘home’ won’t feel complete until we celebrate with our members, our community, and our partners. That means YOU. Read More »
Together, over the years, we’ve changed the landscape of pink ribbon marketing. Pinkwashing is now a household word. People understand that you always have to “follow the money” in pink ribbon marketing. We’ve exposed the hypocrisy in pink ribbon fundraising and achieved some momentous wins against corporations. Even Consumer Reports magazine said this October that “the message of ‘think before you pink’ has gotten out.” And this year’s Think Before You Pink campaign generated the largest grassroots opposition to pinkwashing ever. Together, we are turning the tide and we couldn’t have done it without you. In four short weeks, here’s a glimpse of the impact we’ve made:
- This October, we took Think Before You Pink a step further and targeted some of the most outrageous pink ribbon promotions that exemplify everything that’s wrong with pink ribbon culture. We called out the empty awareness, the misinformation, the profiteering, the pinkwashing, the degrading of women, and the “tyranny of cheerfulness” that hides the social injustices and harsh realities of this disease. Our Think Before You Pink campaign, Stop the Distraction, exploded like a firestorm. Within days of the launch over 1,500 people contacted six corporations and organizations that exemplify how pink ribbon culture and marketing distract from meaningful progress on breast cancer.
- Our graphic calling out the NFL’s misleading “Crucial Catch: early detection saves lives” campaign reached over 200,000 people on social media and generated conversations all over the mainstream media on the limitations of annual screening and early detection. We also wrote an op-ed about this issue that was published in The Guardian.
- When global fracking corporation Baker Hughes created 1,000 pink drill bits “for the cure” and donated $100,000 to breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen, we declared their campaign one of the most egregious examples of pinkwashing we’ve ever seen. Fracking is a toxic process – at least 25% of the more than 700 chemicals used in fracking are linked to cancer. With this pinkwashing tryst, Komen is complicit in a practice that endangers women’s health. This is unacceptable and in just 14 days, over 168,700 outraged people signed petitions demanding Susan G. Komen break ties with the fracking industry and take a stand against this toxic process. Thanks to our national and local partners at EcoWatch, Oil Change International, Food & Water Watch, CREDO Action, Friends of the Harmed and New Voices Pittsburgh this really was a groundswell of grassroots activism. And don’t miss our op-ed in The Washington Post about the pink drill bits.
- We delivered your petition signatures directly to Susan G. Komen and organized a rally outside the Pittsburgh Steelers football game where Komen was scheduled to accept Baker Hughes’ $100,000 check. Komen heard our objections, and in response to public pressure, scrapped a public check presentation in favor of a private exchange.
- All October long, the national media lit up with stories about our Think Before You Pink campaign: from NBC News to NPR to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review to Mother Jones to Feministing and more. Together we are changing the national conversation about breast cancer.
This October, our outrage and our work together created the largest grassroots opposition to pinkwashing ever. During a month when all too often the distraction of pink stops the world from focusing on the important issues in breast cancer, this year our collective action and the increased media attention shone a spotlight on the specific ways pink ribbon campaigns misinform, distract, demean, exploit, and harm women. And by calling out Komen’s fracking partnership, we made absolutely clear where this giant breast cancer charity stands when it comes to protecting women’s health and widely publicized the health harms of fracking. Thank you so much – none of this is possible without your support.
By Karuna Jaggar, Executive Director
What a month! A few weeks ago, we learned that the world’s largest breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen is in partnership with Baker Hughes, a leading global fracking corporation. Baker Hughes is distributing 1,000 pink drill bits “for the cure” and donating $100,000 to Komen. Read More »
By Karuna Jaggar, Executive Director
I’m headed to Pittsburgh this weekend. Can you join me to take a stand against pinkwashing? Read More »
By Karuna Jaggar, Executive Director
File this under “you can’t make this sh*t up”: Susan G. Komen has partnered with Baker Hughes, a leading global fracking corporation, to distribute 1,000 pink drill bits “for the cure.” This “Doing Our Bit for the Cure” partnership is a classic – and egregious – example of pinkwashing. Read More »
By Caitlin Carmody, Online Communications Coordinator
Since news broke yesterday about Susan G. Komen’s partnership with global fracking corporation Baker Hughes, the response has been swift, furious, and huge. Many people have wondered whether these pink drill bits are satire and whether The Onion came up with it. Unfortunately, no and no. Read More »
Susan G. Komen Partners With Global Fracking Corporation to Launch “Benzene and Formaldehyde for the Cure®”
For immediate release
October 8th, 2014
Contact: Angela Wall, Communications Director (415) 243-9301 x16 email@example.com
San Francisco, CA – Breast Cancer Action today thanked Susan G. Komen and Baker Hughes for partnering on the most ludicrous piece of pink sh*t they’ve seen all year – 1,000 shiny pink drill bits. BCAction hailed this partnership as the most egregious example of “pinkwashing” they’ve ever seen and heartily lauded Komen and Baker Hughes for doing their bit to increase women’s risk of breast cancer with their toxic fracking chemicals. Read More »
This op-ed was originally published in The Guardian on October 5, 2014.
By Karuna Jaggar, Executive Director
Like many other large brand names, the National Football League has long tried to use its alleged commitment to breast cancer to distract the public from its misdeeds around this time of year – particularly concerning women. Don’t look at the unchecked domestic and sexual violence, the extraordinarily high rates of brain disease that ruin careers and families, or the poor pay and working conditions for cheerleaders. Look over here at this enormous pink ribbon on the field! Look at the players wearing pink helmets and gloves and shoes! You can even buy your own! See how much we care about women?! Read More »
My name is Christie Allen. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 at the age of 32. I was going to skip October this year – I’ve had enough pink. But instead, I’m taking a stand against the pink ribbon distraction and I want you to join me. Read More »