June 2020 Update from MBCC’s Executive Director

Dear Friends in Prevention,
I hope this finds you and your loved ones well during these truly challenging times.
At the heart of Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition’s (MBCC) work for nearly 30 years there has always been a focus on environmental justice – this is reflected in the many groups and organizations we have partnered with, and in our commitment to deliver the vital health information from the Let’s Talk Prevention program translated into seven languages (and more to come), so that as many people as possible can learn about ways to protect themselves, their families, and communities from environmental toxins. We want to acknowledge how this pandemic, disproportionate exposure to environmental toxins, and racial inequalities have overwhelmingly affected communities of color. We, at MBCC, are both heartbroken and outraged by the tragic deaths of George Floyd and of far too many others to count. All of us must do better. MBCC continues to actively listen to the voices of those who have been silenced for far too long, and we are committed to continuing to use our voice to influence policies that result in safer and healthier communities for everyone.
While the school year comes to an end, there still remains a great deal of uncertainty in terms of when and how educators and students will be able to safely return to school. I am pleased that MBCC recently expanded the Let’s Talk Prevention Actions You Can Take high school program to now include classroom materials for both middle and elementary school students. Given the challenges brought on by COVID-19 and the quick transition to remote learning, we felt compelled to modify both our existing and new materials to help support the needs of teachers, parents/caregivers, and students so they can utilize the modules both in and outside of the classroom. The modules cover topics ranging from reducing household toxin exposure to wireless radiation to the risks of PFAS (Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances) water contamination. (Please see the poster below for more information).
MBCC has also launched a new campaign to advocate for legislation to protect the health of all communities across the state. Building on the momentum of last year’s PFAS water contamination campaign, we are expanding these efforts to address harmful PFAS found in food packaging. We hope you will read more about this campaign here and join us in supporting two pending bills, S.1315 and H.3839, that would ban the use of PFAS in food packaging in Massachusetts.
While we are not able to fundraise through traditional means, MBCC is moving forward with Against the Tide as virtual events this summer. These multi-sport events provide much-needed funding for MBCC’s programs and community outreach, and we are deeply appreciative of all who join with us as a sponsor, volunteer, or participant. We will truly miss seeing so many of you on the beach in Hopkinton as we have for the past 27 years and in Brewster as we have for the past 20 years. We hope that, if you are able to do so, you will consider joining us as a virtual participant or making a donation. Now more than ever, MBCC needs your support towards the mission of cancer prevention for our children, grandchildren, and future generations.
Over the past few months, we have been continuously inspired by the strength and dedication of so many who day after day put the needs of their community above their own in the battle against COVID-19. As the state moves through the phases of re-opening, all of us at MBCC hope you and your families remain safe and healthy as we all continue to navigate the unprecedented challenges that lie ahead. 
With caring appreciation,

Cheryl Osimo
Executive Director