Black women in the U.S. are 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than white women, and a recent study found that while 92 percent of black women agree breast health is important, only 25 percent of women have recently discussed breast health with their family, friends, or colleagues and only 17 percent have taken steps to understand their risk for breast cancer. To address the unacceptable disparity in breast cancer mortality rates, Susan G. Komen®, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, and the Ad Council, the nation’s foremost producer of public service communications, launched Know Your Girls, a national campaign to educate and inspire black women to understand their risk for breast cancer and take charge of their breast health.
Black women are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer younger, at later stages and with more aggressive forms of the disease, limiting treatment options.
“As a breast cancer survivor who lost her mother to breast cancer, I understand all too well the pain and heartbreak of this disease,” said Paula Schneider, President and CEO of Susan G. Komen. “We hope this campaign empowers black women to learn about breast cancer risk and the resources available to take action.”
The Know Your Girls campaign encourages black women, ages 30-55 years old, to treat their breasts with the same attentiveness and understanding they share with the women in their lives.
“The Know Your Girls campaign introduces breast cancer education through a celebration of the powerful sisterhood between black women,” said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council. “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.”
The campaign video, created pro bono by award-winning creative agency Translation, features vignettes of a woman at key moments throughout her life. At each occasion, she is surrounded by her girls, the friends and family who have always been her source of support and strength. At the end, the woman reveals that the “girls” who have been with her in every single moment of her life, her breasts, are in fact the ones she might know the least.
“The staggering breast cancer mortality rates amongst women of color – amongst black women – is unacceptable,” said Steve Stoute, Founder and CEO of Translation. “Breast cancer has touched so many of our loved ones, our peers, and our neighbors, including my wife who lost her dear sister to this crippling disease. Creating a healthy dialogue between women of color, their fears, and their breasts is a critical step towards eradication. This campaign aims to do just that, while speaking directly to her inner conscious. Along with Susan G. Komen, the Ad Council and countless other institutions, we look forward to fostering these conversations, and educating our women so that tomorrow is brighter, safer and an undeniable reality.”
Check out the campaign video below.