Data has shown that significant racial disparities exist between African American and white women in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. A breast cancer diagnosis for an African American woman has shown that she will have a lower survival rate and will be more likely to receive a lower level of care. In response to this, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has launched the Circle of Promise, an effort to empower African American women to take charge of their health and to serve as ambassadors in their communities.
Via press release: The foundation has announced that three of today's prominent African-American leaders -- each with different backgrounds and personal stories -- have united behind a cause that is empowering people around the globe to help end breast cancer forever. The Circle of Promise is nationally represented by several prominent African-American women. Not only are these women accomplished individuals, but they are passionate about empowering their communities to help end breast cancer forever. Three women who have recently joined the effort as national Circle of Promise ambassadors are actress Gabrielle Union, soul artist Lalah Hathaway and artist Synthia Saint James.
They will help spread the message that more African-American women are likely to die from breast cancer than any other race despite being the least likely to be diagnosed with the disease. These ambassadors work nationally and within their communities to urge others within the African-American community to reclaim their health and register at circleofpromise.org.
Gabrielle Union: One of Hollywood's leading African-American actresses, Gabrielle Union has secured starring roles, crossed racial lines, and is helping to pave the way for others. Her decision to partner with Circle of Promise comes from a passion that is very close to her heart. "The fight against breast cancer is very personal for me. I have been touched by this disease as I watched girlfriends deal with their breast health concerns," said Union. "Being part of their fight inspired me to raise my voice and become an ambassador to help other women. Black women face unique issues when it comes to breast cancer -- it's important to know the facts. We're our own best health advocates."
Lalah Hathaway: The daughter of Donny Hathaway, one of the most influential soul artists of the 1970s, Lalah Hathaway (in photo at left) is respected in her own right. "The rate of Black women and girls diagnosed with breast cancer is rising at an alarming rate," said Hathaway. "We are fighting a common enemy. Knowledge and having a take-charge mindset and attitude are critical weapons in the fight against this deadly disease. I became active because I want to be an ambassador of change. If I tell seven of my friends and they tell seven of their friends and so on, the circle will continue to expand and we'll create a chorus of voices within the African-American community to eradicate breast cancer. I truly believe that this is a goal we can achieve together."
Synthia SAINT JAMES: Synthia SAINT JAMES is a multiple award winning artist, architectural designer, speaker, author and songwriter and now a Circle of Promise ambassador. Her latest achievement is a signature painting for the Circle of Promise campaign. It will be unveiled at a private luncheon hosted by The Links, Incorporated, in Washington, D.C. on June 6. The luncheon will include many Circle of Promise ambassadors, corporate partners and advocates.
About Circle of Promise: Launched in October 2007, the campaign was created by Susan G. Komen for the Cure to educate, empower and mobilize the African-American community in the fight against breast cancer. Through this effort, Komen hopes to rewrite the story on African Americans and breast cancer by decreasing the African American mortality rate, which is 18 percent higher than for Caucasian women. Susan G. Komen for the Cure's Circle of Promise has joined forces with ESSENCE Magazine, Ford Motor Company and The Links, Incorporated to recruit 100,000 African-American women to join Circle of Promise and serve as local ambassadors within their communities.
Become an ambassador in your community. Join the Circle of Promise and get involved by hosting an event to spread the word: http://www.circleofpromise.org/.