A breast cancer survivor, an advocate, and a quintessential Black woman, Vanessa Bell Calloway is teaming with Susan G. Komen Foundation to educate African American women on breast health via a national PSA campaign developed in partnership with Steve Stout’s Translation agency and the Ad Council.
The “Know Your Girls” campaign empowers black women to treat their breasts with the same attentiveness and understanding they share with the women in their lives. The aim of “Know Your Girls” is to educate and inspire black women to take charge of their breast health.
Calloway collaborated with famed photographer Derek Blanks to create this image to empower breast cancer survivors. Calloway elected to have a single mastectomy as a preventive measure.
“I am so happy to be apart of this campaign because as a breast cancer survivor I understand first hand how important it is to know your girls literally and figuratively,” says Calloway.
“Being in tune with your girls can save your life. ‘Know Your Girls’ can also mean know your real life girlfriends and as a community of women help remind each other about the importance of breast health.”
Black women in America are over 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than white women. In the U.S., black women are more likely to be diagnosed younger than white women, at later stages and with more aggressive forms of the disease, limiting treatment options. A recent study revelead that while 92% of black women agree breast health is important, only 25% have recently discussed breast health with their family, friends, or colleagues.
Calloway hopes to educate Black women of all ages and inspire them to place more of an emphasis on breast health.
“The Susan G Komen #KnowYourGirls campaign is not only hip, youthful and timely but it’s essentially very important for all women young and mature,” added Calloway.