Audre Lorde Cancer Awareness Brunch

The Women’s Health Team at Fenway is excited to announce the 20th Annual Audre Lorde Cancer Awareness Brunch on Saturday, October 20, 10am-1pm at the NonProfit Center, 2nd Floor, 89 South Street, Boston, MA. The event is a celebration of women of color and their supporters whose lives have been affected by cancer. Started in 1999, the Audre Lorde Cancer Awareness Brunch is named in memory of Audre Lorde, a self-described “Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet.” Audre Lorde dedicated both her life and her creative talent to confronting and addressing the injustices of racism, sexism, and homophobia. You can RSVP for the event via Eventbrite.

The Event

Situated near South Station, the new event location The NonProfit Center is more accessible to communities of color by the red, green, orange, and silver lines with more space to celebrate the momentous occasion. The event will feature a musical performance by Zili Misik, an interactive drumming session from Genki Spark, a storytelling workshop by Red Sage Stories, health education sessions, raffle items, and more.

This year’s recipients of the Trailblazer and Spirit of Fire Awards are Erin Epps of Fenway Health and Dianne Austin of Coils to Locs. Cultivate: Queer Healing Lab by janhavi madabushi and Kamaria Weems Carrington will receive the Judy Bradford Community Grant to create healing spaces for queer and transgender people of color. At the brunch, the community will also have access to resources from the YMCA, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Cancer Care Center at Boston Medical Center, and Facing Cancer Together.

The event is free but space is limited. Register today!

Contact

For questions, contact Tanekwah Hinds at thinds@fenwayhealth.org or 617.927.6199.

History

The theme for this year’s event is “20 Years of Community, Celebration, and Growth” to mark the momentous occasion for women of color to gather in community, celebrate their lives, and commemorate the history of the event. In 1999, Denise Bentley, a former Fenway Health employee, founded the event in honor of her late wife Lorraine “Faye” Fayette Johnson. She created a space to honor two warrior women who battled breast cancer: her wife and Audre Lorde, a self-described “Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet” who dedicated her life to addressing the injustices of racism, sexism, and homophobia. Denise recognized that cancer uniquely affects women of color and the LGBTQ+ community and established a venue to discuss these health disparities, build community, and celebrate life.

Resources

Community resources are vital to helping break down barriers to care for the LGBTQ+ community and women of color. Although breast cancer rates have decreased in Boston since 2007, these groups continue to be disproportionately affected. Check out the information below for local resources and education on health disparities.

Fenway Health

Cancer Awareness Resource Guide

In this resource guide, you will find information on cancer disparities for women of color and LGBTQ women, health education on cancer screenings and preventive health measures, and local resources for cancer survivors of color. We hope this guide will foster sisterhood, strength, and holistic health in your life.

Download Guide (PDF)

Survivor Stories

Audre Lorde, a self-described “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet” who battled cancer for 14 years, considered speaking up — whether about women’s health or identity — to be an act of survival. Take a moment to hear about healing and survival from the women of color whose lives have been impacted by cancer.