By Kira Jones, Communications Manager
Connie Matthiessen is a Bay Area journalist and writer whose work has focused on health, education, social justice, and the environment. She started her career at the Center for Investigative Reporting, and has written for a variety of print and online publications and websites. She has also contributed to books including The Hunting Ground and Because I Said So. She has worked as a communications writer for Healthcare Without Harm, the California Institute for Integral Studies, the Center for Care Innovations, and other organizations. She lives in San Francisco and has three children and two very pampered cats.
Tell us a little about yourself and what brought you to Breast Cancer Action.
I was excited when I heard about the Communications Manager position at Breast Cancer Action because I have friends who are deeply committed and very involved with the organization, and I’ve admired and respected the work the organization has done over the years. I also have several friends who are living with breast cancer, and I’ve lost some dear friends too. Breast Cancer Action’s focus on health, the environment, and social justice aligns with my passions and the work I’ve done throughout my career, so it’s a perfect fit.
What most inspires/excites you about Breast Cancer Action’s work?
I love Breast Cancer Action’s feistiness and the way it consistently pushes back against the mainstream breast cancer movement, and not only questions, but challenges the cancer industry, corporate polluters, and policies that don’t put public health before profit. I also really appreciate that social justice is such a powerful part of the organization’s mission, since low-income and communities of color are so disproportionately affected by pollution and its health impacts, including cancer.
What are you looking forward to working on/what do you think are the most pressing issues in breast cancer?
I am still diving into all the issues, but I am interested in the link between the environment and health. It’s an issue that is particularly pressing today, given the current administration’s all-out assault on the environment, and its attempts to limit access to healthcare. I’m pleased that Breast Cancer Action is partnering with other environmental, health, and social justice groups, because there is so much work to do if we are going to save our precious planet! I am also glad that Breast Cancer Action is taking the lead on fighting Congress’s recent efforts to allow companies to patent human genes again, which could have ramifications for generations to come. I’m very excited to be part of Breast Cancer Action and to do what I can to further its mission.