About Shazia Manji

Shazia Manji 300 px photo

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

I am the Membership & Communications Coordinator for Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles, where I help organize PSR-LA’s Health Ambassador Program and support the organization’s communication needs. Prior to joining PSR-LA, I attended UC San Diego as a student in the Communication Department. I first became engaged with health and social justice organizing as a staff member at the Student Sustainability Collective, where I helped plan and execute campus education and policy initiatives focused on social justice and environmental health.

How did you first get involved with Breast Cancer Action?

I was an intern with BCAction during the summer between my second and third year in college. I had taken an Environmental and Preventive Health Issues course as a part of my minor in public health and became interested in learning more about the environmental causes of cancers. After finishing my internship with BCAction, I decided to gear my education and work experience on projects that addressed systemic inequalities in health.

Why did you decide to join the Community Leaders for Change?

After finishing my internship, I was looking for ways to stay involved with BCAction’s work while studying at UC San Diego. Joining the Community Leaders for Change program helped me to coordinate events and activities with the Women’s Center at UCSD that opened up discussions about breast cancer that extended beyond pink ribbon advocacy and individual behavior change as prevention.

What’s your personal philosophy on what should be done to end the breast cancer epidemic?

I strongly believe in putting significant effort and resources into exploring the root causes of breast cancer so that we can stop cancer where it starts. In order to do this, there needs to be structural change that addresses the underlying systemic causes of breast cancer, including the ways in which we create, use, and regulate chemicals, the ways in which we design our built environment, and the ways we grow food and make energy. I think it is also important to address the different ways in which breast cancer is experienced in low-income communities and communities of color, in order to ensure that pathways to ending the breast cancer epidemic consider equity in health.

What are your goals as a Community Leader and breast cancer advocate?

My goal as a Community Leader is to help broaden the conversation people are having about the breast cancer epidemic and to take part in advocacy activities that work towards systemic change.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about joining the Community Leaders for Change?

Breast Cancer Action is an incredibly supportive organization with a complex understanding of the breast cancer epidemic. Joining BCAction in the Community Leaders for Change is a great opportunity to engage in breast cancer advocacy and work with other people who are passionate about promoting preventive health and equity in the breast cancer movement.

This entry was posted in BCA Action Alerts.