Our mission at Handful has always been to support women to live their lives to the fullest. A big part of that mission has been our focus on supporting the 1 in 8
women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes. As a stark and unwavering light continues to beam down on the issue of racial inequality and racial injustice by brave protesters and black leaders, we have paused over the last few days in self-examination. And as is the case in every corner of our nation, our eyes are being opened to the fact that we have a lot of work to do in addressing institutionalized racism in our industry, our cause, and our own company.
While we have been working to raise awareness of the terrible prevalence of breast cancer, we have not done enough to highlight that this disease disproportionately affects black women. Some stats from our partner, Young Survival Coalition
:Health Disparities in Young African Americans
- African American women under age 35 have rates of breast cancer two times higher than caucasian women under age 35.
- African Americans under age 35 die from breast cancer three times as often as caucasian women of the same age.
- Researchers believe that access to healthcare and the quality of healthcare available may explain these disparities. But scientists continue to investigate.
- Research also shows that young African Americans are more likely to get aggressive forms of breast cancer than anyone else.
We’re a company of only seven women, but we feel we can make an impact by focusing on what we know best: supporting women. And in this moment, we vow to do much better at supporting black women. We are working as a team to highlight the stories of black women survivors, raise awareness of the inequalities within the breast cancer survivor community, shine a light on the inequities in the health care system, focus our current charitable giving to initiatives that specifically help black women with breast cancer, volunteer as a team in our community, and bring our children along so they can learn with us how to be a part of the solution instead of participating in the complicity of silence and white privilege.
It is not enough…but it is our starting place.