The National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) is a grassroots organization that represents breast cancer advocates and is committed to eradicating breast cancer. NBCC defines a breast cancer advocate as someone who has been personally affected by the disease (e.g., a breast cancer survivor, family member, or friend), represents a constituency, and is motivated to join the fight against the disease. One of the organization's goals is to ensure that breast cancer advocates have a seat at the table when decisions are made about breast cancer research and policy. To accomplish this goal, NBCC educates advocates so that they can participate in and make meaningful contributions to legislative, scientific, and regulatory decision-making bodies. In addition to creating educational opportunities for advocates, NBCC has spearheaded several initiatives designed to directly increase the quality and quantity of breast cancer research. NBCC has also played a major role in making funding available to breast cancer researchers. Two of NBCC's most notable programs include Project LEAD, an intensive science-training course for breast cancer advocates, and the Environmental Initiative, a collection of activities designed to improve research into the relationship between breast cancer and the environment. Breast cancer advocates trained by NBCC have partnered with the scientific community and individual scientists to improve the peer review, design, and implementation of breast cancer research. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 39:102–107, 2002. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.