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Spelman to Host Breast Cancer Symposium to Discuss Impact in the African American Community

November 2018

Breast Cancer AwarenessSpelman is one of two pilot schools for “Breast Health and You,” a breast education campaign launched by the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation and Immunomedics.

As part of the campaign, Spelman hosted “Black Women & Breast Cancer,” a symposium on the disparities of breast cancer education and the lack of discussion on how the illness impacts Black women. The symposium took place, Tuesday, Nov. 13, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Women’s Research & Resource Center.

"The symposium," said Kristen Abatsis McHenry, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Women’s Comparative Studies, was an opportunity “for Spelman student ambassadors to lead the way in raising awareness of breast cancer in Black women.” 

The symposium is part of an overall breast health educational campaign, launched by the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation and Immunomedics called, “Breast Health and You.” The program targets historically Black colleges and universities and seeks to correct the disparities of breast cancer education and the lack of discussion on how the illness impacts Black women.

According to the CDC, African-American women under the age of 35 have breast cancer rates that are two times higher than Caucasian women of the same age. Furthermore, young African-American women are three times as likely to die from breast cancer as Caucasian women of the same age.

“The Women's Research and Resource Center is thrilled to host this symposium on Black women and breast health,” said Kristen Abatsis McHenry, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Women’s Comparative Studies. “The symposium is an opportunity for Spelman student ambassadors to lead the way in raising awareness of breast cancer in Black women.” 

The Spelman student ambassadors are poised to generate awareness of breast cancer and arm their sisters with life-saving information. Bowie State University is the second institution.

“We are excited to bring this educational forum to HBCUs,” said Lezli Baskerville, Ph.D., NAFEO president. “Spelman is well positioned to embrace this learning opportunity for such an important issue.”

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