When is the last time you had a talk with your titties? A new campaign has been launched to spark that conversation and empower black women about breast cancer prevention and awareness.
Breast cancer. Its a killer, especially among black women. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer for African-American women and the second most common cause of cancer death behind lung cancer. In 2016 alone, there were over 30,000 new cases diagnosed.
Initiatives such as the “Know Your Girls” campaign have been created to educate black women about breast cancer and increase awareness. The campaign was officially launched on May 22 by the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation and the Ad Council. According to the press release its mission is to ” educate black women about their breast cancer risk to address disparities.” To accomplish this goal, conversations must be sparked among black women about the health history of our breast, our family history and conversations with our daughters.
“And what better way to do that than to do it with your girls, the people in your life that have been with you your entire journey and your breast that have been your girls with you also your entire life.” Shyrea Thompson of the Koman Foundation tells FOX 7 in Austin
In other words, knowing all of your ‘girlfriends’ tea ( your breasts) could save your life. “Know Your Girl” will provide print, television, and digital outlets for women to learn about the importance of screening and early detection.
President and CEO of the Ad Council, Lisa Sherman says the campaign is also about celebrating the powerful sisterhood between black women.
“Instead of focusing on fear, the campaign provides tools and information that can help black women feel ownership around their breast health and encourages the sharing of those resources and messages with the women who support them throughout their lives,” Sherman said in a press release.
The campaign video, created by award-winning advertising agency, Transition, features African-American women at various ages and stages in their lives. But in each transition the woman is surrounded by her close friends and family who have supported her; however, the last part of the video shows how her breast may be the closest girlfriend to her and is the least familiar with her.
We’ll do anything to protect our girls, but what about our other “girls?” Discover all the ways you can look out for your breast health. https://t.co/snqv8NbpNE #KnowYourGirls pic.twitter.com/iZBBy3nDOX
— Know Your Girls (@_KnowYourGirls) May 22, 2018
Komen also hopes the campaign will help her reach her goal to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths by 50% in the U.S. by 2026. Right now, black women die 40% more than white women from breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
The foundation also outlines specific tools to get ahead of the campaign. The first is staying on top of your health.
Maintaining a healthy weight ( avoiding obesity), engaging in regular exercise and minimizing your use of alcohol are a few factors that could greatly reduced your risk of breast cancer.
And if you’re a survivor, help others learn about the cancer by sharing your story and joining support groups. Also a little support goes a long way. Be a shoulder to lean on for those who are dealing with the cancer or who have a loved one who is affected.
“Know Your Girls” campaign is focused towards black women between the ages of 30-55 . It will target 10 cities in which the mortality rate is over 74% higher than white women. Those cities are: Memphis, Tennessee; St. Louis, Missouri; Long Beach/Los Angeles Metro Area; Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington Metro Area; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Houston, Texas; Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Since its launch, women have been posting videos on social media and sharing their girl talks on breast cancer.
Scroll down for video:
Today is dedicated to my girls. Not my bestie, but my breasts. There’s a lot we can do to understand our risk of #breastcancer & protect our other “girls.” Go to https://t.co/DJ141NIoQI for lots more. #KnowYourGirls @_KnowYourGirls pic.twitter.com/O3RlCfZySD
— Kelsey Murrell (@GlamtwinKels1) May 22, 2018
One famous admirer of the campaign is actress and breast cancer survivor, Vanessa Bell Calloway. The actress is now the face of the campaign. Calloway shared the news on her Instagram page saying, ” It’s so important to know and acknowledge our bodies as women and especially your girls.” She also adds that she and her daughters are dedicated to helping other fellow sisters take car of themselves.
Proud To Announce That I Am The New Face For The @susangkomen “KNOW YOUR GIRLS” Campaign!!! 🎀 . . It’s so important to know and acknowledge our bodies as women and especially your girls 😉 I am a Breast Cancer Survivor and my journey has been trying yet uplifting which is why I’m partnering with @susangkomen to help raise awareness on breast cancer and preventive measures for black women! My daughters and I are dedicated to educate our sisters and make sure we are doing the things we need to take care of ourselves! More to come soon! 🎀🌷💕 . . #susangkomen #breastcancer #research #knowyourgirls #vanessabellcalloway #breastcancerawareness #callowaygirls
Calloway was diagnosed with cancer when she was 52 years-old. She recently shared her story with Ebony Magazine.
“Now, I’ve been breast cancer free for six years, ” she tells Ebony. “Anytime you go through anything so emotional, you learn a lot. I’m very grateful and blessed. I love my birthdays even more. I’m 58 now. Some people stress about becoming older, but who cares about your age? You can’t turn 80 without turning 60. Don’t take life for granted. Take care of yourself.”
To learn more about the “Know Your Girls” campaign click here
To learn more about the Susan G. Komen Foundation click here
A working journalist, entrepreneur and founder of RoyalTee Enterprises. Born and raised in Tampa, Fla. The vision of RoyalTee was inspired in 2015 by Alexia’s ambitions to return to her passion for creative writing and publishing and create a platform to showcase the excellence of minority women across the country through professional, personal and social ventures.