To end breast cancer by January 1, 2020, there must be a groundswell of support in every community across the nation and internationally for a new way of doing things, a change in consciousness and a demand from the general public that “business as usual” must end when it comes to breast cancer. As grassroots activists, it’s up to us to expand the movement and make Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® more than just a powerful idea. We can do this through a variety of means.
Expand the reach and increase the power of Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® by networking with other organizations in your community and beyond. Look for natural connections, such as health care advocacy groups, sororities, women’s networking organizations as well as unexpected partnerships. Coalitions of unlikely allies can be powerful, especially in convincing legislators that a wide variety of constituents are concerned about ending breast cancer and expanding access to quality health care.
Attend a meeting of the group with which you are interested in connecting, explain your common interest, and suggest a joint activity. Don't be discouraged if one group is not interested—maybe an individual can suggest other partners. Keep the focus on working together. Building relationships takes time and can pay off in the long term.
If you're curious about how to present NBCC to another local group—or even your own organization—look through the resources offered in this Toolkit. Contact Kathryn Johnson, NBCC’s Field Operations Manager, KJohnson@BreastCancerDeadline2020.org, if you’d like help putting together a specific program.
House parties are good opportunities to inform and educate people who are interested in NBCC and Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® but lack information. Invite friends, co-workers, members of local organizations and anyone else who might be curious. Show a Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® video and then hold a discussion afterward. Consider organizing a house party around a theme or holiday, such as Mother's Day.
During Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, many organizations look for speakers or program ideas. NBCC has an alternative message, one that is very important for people to hear. Be prepared to communicate what you have to say repeatedly through a variety of media—speaking engagements, handouts, videos, discussions, question and answer sessions. Changing the conversation does not take place overnight. But once the tide changes, it will be hard to stop.
Ask guests to develop an action plan with activities they are willing to do after the house party. Some ideas you can suggest are many of the actions we’ve included in this Toolkit such as sending a letter to elected officials, writing an OpEd to your newspaper or hosting another house party. Also, collect names and contact information of your guests who want to get more involved. Share the information with NBCC, and we will gladly follow up from the national level while you stay in touch at the local or regional level.
Community events, health fairs, women’s festivals or professional events and other high traffic areas are great venues for sharing information at a table. A bright sign and friendly people can often generate new interest in ending breast cancer. Greet your visitors, and let them know what you have available. Resist the temptation to chat with friends behind the table. Your table should include something eye-catching, a sign-up sheet to receive more information, handouts, and some on-the-spot action. Visit NBCC’s Online Action Center, BreastCancerDeadline2020.org/Act, to make sure you have the latest action ideas and resources.