Discussion and Poetry to Mark Breast Cancer Awareness Event. Saturday, April 29, 2006

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY — Vassar College and the Sisters Network, an African American breast cancer survivors' organization, will host the breast cancer awareness event "Testify: Struggle and Survival," on Saturday, April 29, from 3:00-5:30 p.m. in the College Center Multipurpose Room. Public health researcher and Vassar alumna Kellee White will be the keynote speaker, and the free public event will include a poetry reading, testimonials, and a book signing.

In her presentation "Breast Health for Women Under 30: What You Can Do For Yourself, Family and Community," White will discuss the causes of breast cancer and describe preventative measures. White earned a master's of public health degree in Sociomedical Science at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, and is currently completing her doctorate in epidemiology from Columbia. Her recent research investigates the influence of racism, racial/ethnic residential segregation, and neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage on disease distribution. She also works in data analysis at the New York City Department of Health, and was the recipient of the Phoenix Fellowship from the Mailman School of Public Health (2001-2003).

Also at the event, author and poet Pamela DeLeon-Lewis will read from and sign copies of her book Smiling Thru the Tears: A Breast Cancer Survivor Odyssey.

"Testify: Struggle and Survival" is one component of the Sisters Network, Mid Hudson Valley Chapter's fourth annual Breast Cancer Awareness Weekend. The weekend will include an "evening of pampering" on Friday, April 28, and a hat fashion show on Sunday, April 30, with both events at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel. For more information and to buy tickets, please call the Sisters Network at (845) 462-8052.

Sisters Network was established in 1994 as the first national African American breast cancer survivors' organization in the United States. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer, founder Karen Jackson discovered there was very little culturally sensitive information or services offered to African American women suffering from the disease. Sisters Network now has over 3000 members and 45 affiliate chapters throughout the world.

The Vassar ALANA Center, Office of Health Education, Black Student Union, Office of Health Services, and departments of sociology and Women's Studies are sponsoring this event with the Sisters Network Mid-Hudson Valley chapter. For more information, please contact Yolanda Ramos, Director of the ALANA Center, at (845) 437-5954. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should call the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Thursday, April 13, 2006