While we can do a lot of things as individuals to reduce our own risk of breast cancer, there are many risk factors that we can’t address alone. Built into our society, for example, are racism, unsafe chemicals, and policies that harm our health. All of these and more shape breast cancer risk and can only be changed by working together. This page is a work-in-progress and more areas where collective action is necessary will be added.
How can you make a difference?
When issues seem so large, it can be hard to know where and how we can make an impact. Fortunately, we all have traits and skills that can be put to good use! Here are some resources to help figure out the best ways you can contribute to a healthier and more just world:
- Take the Story of Stuff Quiz What Kind of Changemaker Are You? to assess how your skills and personality can be most impactful.
- Enroll in The Story of Stuff Citizen Muscle Boot Camp to learn how to find and act upon what you’re passionate about.
- Get kids involved through the Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots & Shoots Four Step Formula for creating a community service project.
Racism: Work Toward Racial Justice
By improving racial justice we can decrease the risk of breast cancer for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC). Racism affects breast cancer risk in many ways, from the stress it causes on a daily basis to the impact of policies that leave some neighborhoods with fewer resources and more pollution. Racism is a public health crisis that needs everyone’s action to change. Here are some organizations and resources that can help us act for racial justice:
Consumer Products: Use Our Purchasing Power
As consumers, we have power! Many consumer products, from shampoo to laundry detergent, contain chemicals known or suspected to cause cancer. We usually can’t tell if a product is safe by just looking at it. The safe choice should be the easy choice, and we can help make that the case by voting with our dollars. By choosing to shop at stores and buying products that are committed to non-toxic ingredients, we push companies to earn our money and we shift the marketplace to make it safer for all. We can also join together to tell companies to make products safer. Here are some resources that can help us shop safer:
Toxic Policies: Push for Legislative Change
Policies in the U.S. often prioritize a company’s profits over our health. These policies often harm poor communities and communities of color the most. When policies allow or encourage toxic practices, we must advocate for change and pressure lawmakers to support the passing of key bills that promote the health of everyone. Here are some links to stay on top of legislation that needs our support: