2007 Archive

Barbara Brenner '81 Wins SF Chronicle's Jefferson Award for Community Service

Barbara Brenner '81, executive director of Breast Cancer Action in San Francisco, received the San Francisco Chronicle's Jefferson Award in February for her advocacy on behalf of women affected by the disease. A breast cancer survivor, Brenner has spent more than a decade working to educate and organize the public about the leading cancer among women.

Brenner, a Baltimore native, earned a bachelor's degree in government from Smith College and following graduation from Boalt, clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson and then entered private practice. In 1993, at the age of 41, Brenner was diagnosed with breast cancer. After a mastectomy and treatment, she decided to use her advocacy skills on behalf of women's health.

Brenner joined the board of Breast Cancer Action in 1994, and became its executive director a year later. Brenner oversees a staff of 10 and a group of devoted volunteers.

"We are an educational advocacy group," Brenner told the San Francisco Chronicle. "We will have achieved a great deal if we can succeed in changing the conversation around breast cancer, moving beyond awareness to a real understanding of where we are, what we need to get to a better place, and the action to get there."

The Jefferson Award is a weekly feature of the San Francisco Chronicle that recognizes a Bay Area resident for making a difference in his or her community. The awards are administered by the American Institute for Public Service, a national foundation that honors community service.

Read the San Francisco Chronicle story.