Bill Moore photos
On Saturday, November 14, 2015, Square Circles Breast Cancer Survivors' Support Group hosted their first community event at Sista's Place in Brooklyn, New York.
It was a gathering for survivors, families and their supporters. Lots of different people came out to share their stories and their support. It became a close, intimate discussion with dozens of people who felt comforted and comfortable enough to share their personal stories of surviving the disease or witnessing loved ones fighting the disease.
“Even though we are greatly impacted by this and other cancers—increasingly so—our stories are not often shown. We are not as visible as our numbers would deem, and women of color don’t talk about it in family or community circles perhaps in the way we should to let sufferers know there is support. So I have created a support group that will inspire other women that we can fight through the battle as well as help each other.”
Speakers at the event included survivor Bishop Michel White Haynes from the Cathedral at Greater Faith, who spoke on faith and spirituality. Dr. Dawn Aldrich, co-founder of Solutions Cancer Resource Center, spoke on the need for people to fiercely advocate for themselves with medical professionals and demand the best care. Co-sponsor Viola Plummer from the December 12th Movement told people about the effectiveness of alternative holistic practices. State Sen. Kevin Parker, who also co-sponsored the event, advised the standing-room-only audience to support Square Circles and also push elected officials for bills to combat health treatment disparities within the Black community.
Politicians and well-known community activists, such as Assemblyman Charles Barron, Councilwoman Inez Barron, District Leader Olanike Alabi and the Rev. Herbert Daughtry, came out and supported the event. The audience comprised survivors, supporters, community residents and members of different organizations, such as the Nation of Islam and Sisters Building Sisters.
Square Circles plans to provide information that women can use as resources. Arinde thanked all the people who came out to support the event and said that she hoped the Square Circles support system grows even more within the next few months.
For more information, call 929-324-0272 or log on to www.facebook.com/Squarecircles1 or squarecircles.org or email Nayabaalu@gmail.com.