The Chrysalis Initiative has partnered with Intouch Group to launch a program that advocates for women of color who have breast cancer.
The concept of chipping away at inequity on a one-by-one basis inspired the campaign’s central motif: an equality symbol with a slash going through it, to signify inequality. For each download of the app or every physician or hospital that signs up for it, a pixel is removed from the website animation.
That underscores the campaign’s “Erase the Line” moniker, according to Intouch executive craft director Nicholas Capanear.
“As a person taking part in this, you can watch the slash being removed in real time and feel like you’re actually a part of it,” he said. “It’s a cool digital component of the message and we hope it has a great effect on the way breast cancer disparities are being handled.”
According to the National Cancer Institute, Black women are diagnosed with breast cancer at a slightly lower incidence rate than white women — but are 42% more likely to die from cancer.
Breast cancer survivor Jamil Rivers founded The Chrysalis Initiative to help women of color bridge that massive disparity. The partnership with Intouch, Capanear said, is in line with that central mission.
“The idea of Chrysalis taking action with us is great, because we’re building parts of the platform that functionally help people take action in dealing with these disparities,” he explained. “It’s not just talk.”
The BC Navi app includes a one-on-one coaching platform that helps guide users through their breast cancer journey. It also features a rating system, giving women the opportunity to rate healthcare providers based on the quality of treatment they received.
Black women face various barriers to quality care, including conscious or unconscious bias. White women, for example, are more likely to be offered genomic testing when diagnosed with breast cancer.
“It’s going to help women recognize when they’re receiving substandard care,” Capanear said. “The digital platform is going to help women understand not only what they’re missing, but what they should be asking for and how to get a standard of care that everyone else gets.”
“In a way, it begins to hold people accountable for how they’re treating some of the women,” Capanear continued. “Whether the bias is conscious or unconscious, it’s still harming women. The ratings might make healthcare providers think, ‘I probably need to do a little bit better.’”
The campaign will also involve equity assessments on hospitals. That program will be piloted later this year in Chicago, then expanded nationwide.
British Randle, senior director of integrative production at Intouch and a Black woman herself, said her goal is to keep the creative messaging relevant to the target audience.
“When we started bringing these concepts to life, I actually shared the creative with a couple women of color who are breast cancer survivors,” Randle said. “The work was shared, and the sentiment was powerful, impactful. They felt a sense of brightness that this matter is being addressed – that there is a collective out there that cares, that is actually doing something about this matter.”
The end goal, Capanear emphasized, was to reduce that large inequity bit by bit.
“Those statistics have to change,” Capanear said. “We’d like to see those numbers change quickly because something’s definitely wrong.”