Not Just Girl Talk - Turning A Story into Community Action

Nicole Joseph-Chin
Posted November 3, 2018
Not Just Girl Talk - How A Community Brought A Story to Life
Lonsdale Saatchi and Saatchi Team Members using Partnerships for Social Good
Ignite The World
Ignite The World : Ms. Brafit empowers communities through Innovation in Breast Health Education, Bra Fitting Consultations and Mastectomy Care Solutions. (1/1)

I believe in the power of inclusion and this is my story! It is my story because sometimes, we are afraid of the ways narratives can be changed, especially when we think that no one is looking on.

It was a rainy day conversation in 2017 that inspired my writing about the interest men had in matters that affected women and girls and were also in many instances; ready to support and inspire change.

When we believe in our stories, they can come to life, we can connect the gigantic dots and we can navigate the journey positively. Today I pay tribute to Mark and World Pulse which were the catalysts to our story in 2017. This is the story of inclusion and I invite you to take a beautiful journey with us! 

On a rainy day in 2017, our World Pulse Story Award Winning Article - Not Just Girl Talk - was born. Inspired by meeting a group of men who were having drinks; they took their light moments to delve into the stories about the impact of breast cancer in their lives and their families’. This also was my opportunity to ask them about self examinations and to sensitize them about occurrences of men being diagnosed with breast cancer globally.

On that day, they were also inspired to share personal stories of their own families journeying with diagnoses and it brought us to lovingly and logically conclude that Breast Cancer was Not Just Girl Talk. 

Since publishing and actively sharing our #BCNJGT story in 2017,  it was evident that there was going to be a positive revolution ahead of us. Each time we shared our article, men were welcome to sit at the table and participate. This was the birth of the inclusion of men in the dialogues around Women’s Breast Health - beyond the clinical and medical settings. This was for the men, husbands, colleagues, sons and in some instances the guys who wanted to add their voices to make a difference. The Men’s Movement inside of Ms. Brafit’s Community of Awareness and Education.

In most of the bodies of work of gender-centric discussions, there is usually a sense that the key “subject matter experts” are the ones who are “directly affected” and should be involved in the majorority of these conversations - they know the pain!     What we also discover, is that some folks aroud them know the pain equally or more intensely in instances. 

So, the real test of inclusion was about to unfold and it was to be the most exciting journey of inclusion Ms. Brafit has embarked on to date. This one would go on to prove, that inclusion has a chance in the world and that it remains one of the key ingredients to influencing change and impact positively.  

Meet Kevin, Brent, Ave and two weeks later, meet David! They are a Team of creatives from the Trinidad and Tobago - owned, Lonsdale Saatchi and Saatchi - affiliates of world renowned advertising power organization; Saatchi and Saatchi.  

They were ready to amplify inclusion, using their organization and their team members, in partnership with Ms. Brafit - a Caribbean Born, globally focused Social Enterprise, focused on Breast Health as a catalyst for Social Change and using the Bra as a tool for social empowerment. 

Kevin had reached out to us to pitch their dream of inclusion and we were SOLD - the intention of a partnership of advocacy and inclusion, because they envisioned alignment and deep significance. 

The team came over to Ms. Brafit with notepads in hand and our instant connection meant we would begin on 1st October, 2018 and run a full month of messages, posts and fun events with Lonsdale and our organization Ms. Brafit - www.msbrafit.com - the mutual aim; to advance the dialogues around men, women, adolescent health, society and breast cancer.

It was back in 2008 when we first met Kevin Reis who was also eager to use his amazing talent in the illustration of bra images for Ms. Brafit - which also went on to win an Addy Award in 2008 - under the stewardship of Creative Director Jon Slater. 

Ave, a new team member had been excited about this new collaboration because she had written about Breast Cancer for a project during her academic studies and so it was also about finding the right partnership to bring life to this new collective adventure in advocacy.

There was evidence of our synergies and a clear intention that we were going to Ignite the World, starting with our local landscapes and working outwards with an inclusive series of “enigmatic” images, passionate pledges, compelling promises and compassionate comments.

It was an immediate nod of approval from all sides and OUR adventures began! 

The excitement of seeing each and every single team member from Lonsdale become part of this journey was the most heart warming of actions. They adopted the entire Ms. Brafit journey into the process of having our most intimate components become their new playground to sensitize, share and amplify our message - internally, within an organization that is constantly abuzz with deadlines and important actions and tight daily deliverables.

They adopted some of the events that we use in our promotion of education - including seminars and our fun events; we conducted our signature Comfort Matters Beauty Beyond the Bruises - Interactive Breast Health Seminars on their production floors - filmed by their production teams. They hosted a customized version of our signature - Cupcakes and Cleavage to engage in rewards of dessert for their team members and their hard work.

The month of October, was a daily diary of actions and posts, which featured every single team member from Management to Trainee Staff. 

 As the month of October unfolded, we got to witness first hand, the spirit of community, the outpouring of courage and of course the inclination to build meaningful partnerships where the message is not internally focused but a measure of how taking a simple article and using it for social good can build a village that can Ignite The World and reaffirm that Breast Cancer is Not Just Girl Talk.

Thank you to World Pulse for this amazing platform for amplification and we pay tribute of special gratitude to Kevin, Brent, Ave, David and the entire Lonsdale Saatchi and Saatchi Management and Staff for this gesture of true Social Conscience and friendship beyond measure.

Original Award Winning Article - August 2017

Click here 

https://www.worldpulse.com/en/voices-rising/stories/trinidad-and-tobago-...

 

Would you like to access our campaign toolkits and educational programs for your community ?

Please contact us to find out how we can help you to build and customize a Not Just Girl Talk campaign and obtain access to our tools, images and our campaign resource manual. 

Nicole Joseph-Chin is a 2015 VVLead Fellow and Vital Voices VV100 Women. She is a 2011 Fellow of US State Department IVLP, Alumna of Cherie Blair Foundation for Women 2013 and a Fellow of Government of India - ASCI 2017.

Nicole is a Social Entrepreneur, Women’s Engagement Advocate, Writer, Economic  Empowerment Advocate and Thought Leader in Innovation in Women’s Health.

Nicole and Ms. Brafit are collaborators in many Global Advocacy Communities and is a Partner of Safecity India and Pax Populi. 

Click below to learn more:  

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Comments 19

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Sis. Salifu
Nov 04, 2018
Nov 04, 2018

Dear Nicole,
This was actually a great initiative you took with your team. Definitely, its not "...Girls Talk".

Thanks for the further information for us. I look forward to hearing of more outcomes.

Greetings
Lisbeth

Nicole Joseph-Chin
Nov 08, 2018
Nov 08, 2018

Thank you Lisbeth,
Please let us know if you'd like to explore introducing our campaign into your area. We'd love to help you understand how to access our toolkits, campaign manuals and authorization to use our images. Please feel free to contact us. Thank you for your kind comments.
Nicole

Jill Langhus
Nov 04, 2018
Nov 04, 2018

Hi Nicole,

Thanks for sharing your very exciting and inspiring developments and update. This is great news, bringing more awareness and openness not only in your country but beyond its borders. Great job! Looking forward to seeing what else comes of your new venture and collaborations.

Hope you're doing well, and having a great day!

Nicole Joseph-Chin
Nov 08, 2018
Nov 08, 2018

Thank you so much for always encouraging and supporting our work. If you'd like to help us take the campaign worldwide, please feel free to set up a call so we can disvuss. We have diverse packages for many geographic locations. Let me know if you'd be interested in collaboration. Thank you always. Nicole

Jill Langhus
Nov 09, 2018
Nov 09, 2018

Hi Nicole,

You're welcome:-) Oh, I would love to help you, if it's not too time consuming, i.e., spreading the word on social media channels, etc. You can send me a private message, if you like, with more details.

Hope you have a great day and weekend:-)

Nicole Joseph-Chin
Nov 09, 2018
Nov 09, 2018

Thank you! Yes I will drop a note next week and you can give it some thought. Thank you! Have a great weekend too!

Jill Langhus
Nov 10, 2018
Nov 10, 2018

Great, and you're welcome:-)

Thanks!

Nicole Joseph-Chin
Nov 16, 2018
Nov 16, 2018

Greetings,
Hope you are great. We are getting our next steps ready and I will connect with you in the coming week for a possible call. Will inbox you. Thank you for your generous offer to support, help and amplify.

Jill Langhus
Nov 17, 2018
Nov 17, 2018

Yes, thanks. Hope you are, too.

You're welcome:-)

Beth Lacey
Nov 05, 2018
Nov 05, 2018

This is a very inspiring story. Thank you for sharing
Beth

Nicole Joseph-Chin
Nov 08, 2018
Nov 08, 2018

Thank you Beth! Please tell me how we can get your communities involved. We'd be happy to have the world talking with more inclusiveness. Thank you!

Maya Iwata
Nov 05, 2018
Nov 05, 2018

Nicole,
Thank you for sharing this story! I love the line that "Breast Cancer is Not Just Girl Talk!" and how you all brought many people together. I used to work for a peer breast and ovarian cancer treatment education organization so this story brings back many good memories of people making change for themselves and others. So glad that people can talk about these issues much more openly than years ago when it was just whispered about. Warmly, Maya

Nicole Joseph-Chin
Nov 08, 2018
Nov 08, 2018

Maya,
Traditionally the women get to be the ones who face the medical institutions, get the chills each time they get a call for test results and often they see many other women in treatment and few men. Whilst men are diagnosed it's still not about the men's health more than it is about a "rare" incidence. Men however are employers, spouses, colleagues, siblings and sons so the more we get them to participate, the better the outcomes of each diagnosis. How can we consider opportunities for collaboration in your communities? Our toolkits and campaign manuals are now available. Let's talk! Thanks for your comments and encouragement.

Nicole Joseph-Chin
Nov 08, 2018
Nov 08, 2018

Please send us a short message if you'd like info on how to access our programs, campaigns, images, toolkits, manuals, seminars and awarenesa material.

ARREY- ECHI
Nov 09, 2018
Nov 09, 2018

Dear Nicole,
Thank you for this amazing read and for the beautiful impactful work you did in bringing along men. For a truth, the Future is Inclusive which means in everything that affects us, when everyone in the community is involved, solutions are easily reached.
Keep up the good work with your team as you impact more people.
Hugs from Cameroon
Arrey

Nicole Joseph-Chin
Nov 16, 2018
Nov 16, 2018

Thank you! And especially, thanks for reaching out from Cameroon where I have some of the most amazing friends who have become like sisters. I deeply appreciate your kind words.
Nicole

Tamarack Verrall
Nov 10, 2018
Nov 10, 2018

Hi Nicole,
I learned a lot from reading about the important work you are doing. Also, it is very encouraging to know that men have become part of the campaign. Congrats on some great work and best wishes for continuing expansion.
In sisterhood,
Tam

Nicole Joseph-Chin
Nov 16, 2018
Nov 16, 2018

Dear Tam,
Thank you for your encouragement! Glad you have been able to get a snapshot of my work. I'm truly moved by your making the time to comment.
Sincerely,
Nicole

Ngala Nadege
Nov 27, 2018
Nov 27, 2018

Great initiative .thanks for sharing.