LBBC embraces equity on International Women’s Day — and all year long
It’s that time of year again: when we are asked to celebrate the achievements of women and stand up for women’s rights. International Women’s Day (IWD), which is March 8, is meant to be a firestarter — a way to ignite our energy and collective action to drive gender parity.
This year, IWD is inviting the world to #embraceequity to change “systemic and structural barriers that get in the way of people's ability to thrive.”
Living Beyond Breast Cancer is, of course, on board — but we don’t need a special day to light our fire. We’ve been committed to forging a path toward a more equitable and inclusive experience for everyone impacted by breast cancer for more than 30 years. Every day LBBC’s staff and board of directors are working — alongside our amazing community and our many dedicated partners — to move toward a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination, to a world where no one impacted by breast cancer is uniformed or alone.
Below are just a few ways LBBC is working to address issues of equity, as well as diversity and inclusion, on IWD — and all year long.
Sharing a diversity of stories
Our award-winning blog centers the stories of a diversity of individuals impacted by breast cancer who bravely share their experiences about issues that matter most to them, helping others to feel less alone and more inspired to act. In 2022 we published:
- 26 new blogs
- 50% of these blogs were from people of color, including Black, Latina, and Asian American Pacific Islander women
Addressing disparities in care
Knowledge is power: The Black breast cancer experience, our annual educational webinar series, features discussions about disparities in breast cancer care, experts sharing strategies and tactics to help people to get the care they deserve, and the stories and experiences of Black people diagnosed with breast cancer.
- 3,400 people participated live (via Zoom and Facebook Live) in 2022
- 81% of online registrants identified at BIPOC
Decreasing the financial burden
Breast cancer is hard and expensive. We help provide a measure of relief to those coping with health challenges and financial concerns through the Living Beyond Breast Cancer Fund, which awards grants to help people in treatment to pay for basic needs such as rent, utilities, and transportation. In 2022 there were:
- $471,500 distributed to those in need
- 452 grantees, up 40% from 2021
- 50% of grants were awarded to Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) individuals
Leaders aren’t born—they’re made. Each year our Young Advocate program provides the tools and training for young people diagnosed with breast cancer so they can use their personal breast cancer experience to make a difference in their communities. Our Hear My Voice Metastatic Advocate training empowers people living with metastatic disease to raise their voices and awareness aboutmetastatic breast cancer. Participants in our programs come from a diversity of backgrounds and experiences:
- 26 Hear My Voice Metastatic Advocates trained in 2022, representing 20 states and Puerto Rico; 45% are low-income
- 32 Young Advocates trained in 2022, representing 14 different states and Washington, D.C.; 57% are low-income
Every year a new class of advocates puts their training into practice by speaking at events; by participating in legislative and policy advocacy; by hosting fundraisers; by being interviewed by the media; and more.
Reaching more patients and providers — no matter where they’re located
Since 2018, LBBC has trained 77 oncology nurse navigators or staff in similar roles to implement LBBC’s Survivorship Series for Young Women with Breast Cancer. The Survivorship Series for Young Women is a four-part patient education program that focuses on the unique needs of young women. This innovative program expands the capacity of smaller cancer centers to better meet the needs of young women by training staff on how to implement the evidence-based program with their patients and connect their young patients to valuable resources that will improve their quality of life. From 2020 to 2022, LBBC worked with:
- 48 cancer centers, in urban (50%), suburban (33%), and rural (17%) locations
- 60% were small community-based cancer center/local hospital
Elevating the voices of BIPOC healthcare professionals
LBBC is actively working to increase participation of underrepresented voices on our Medical Advisory Board (MAB), who are key partners in helping us provide trusted information on breast cancer testing, diagnosis, treatment recovery and quality of life, as well as in the speakers we engage for programs and events.
- We are on track to have 50% BIPOC participation on our MAB by the end of 2023
- Of the 47 guest speakers (experts and constituents) we engaged in 2022, 51% were BIPOC
Tell us how you embrace equity on March 8 — and beyond — by tagging LBBC and using the hashtag #embraceequity on social media.
This content is supported by
Sign up to receive emotional support, medical insight, personal stories, and more, delivered to your inbox weekly.