Join Us For the 18th Annual Audre Lorde Cancer Awareness Brunch

On Saturday, October 22, Fenway’s Women’s Health Team will hold the 18th Annual Audre Lorde Cancer Awareness Brunch, a celebration of women of color survivors and their supporters whose lives have been affected by cancer. Started in 1999, the brunch is named in memory of Audre Lorde, a self-described “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet” who battled cancer for 14 years. The brunch will be held from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM at our 1340 Boylston St. location.

The Audre Lorde Cancer Awareness Brunch is a gathering for women of color to share, network, and rediscover their resilience and strength.  The theme for this year’s event is “Self-Care: I Am My Best Work” to encourage cancer survivors to partake in the healing process of self-care, or intentional actions to care for one’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

“The Audre Lorde Brunch is one of Fenway’s most treasured community events,” said Dr. Jennifer Potter, Fenway Women’s Health Director. “The brunch brings us together to remember people we love who have passed, and to honor one another’s struggles and resilience.”

The event will feature a musical performance by Zili Misik, an interactive dance session by Uprising Dance Theater, spoken word performances, and a raffle of self-care products. At the Brunch, cancer survivors will also have access to resource tables from the LGBT Aging Project, Flashback Sunday (LGBT Elders of Color), Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition, Cancer Care Center at Boston Medical Center, and Facing Cancer Together.

Cecilia Flores

Cecilia Flores

This year, we are thrilled to honor two women who have made a powerful impact on our community. The 2016 Trailblazer Award will be presented to Cecilia Flores, who is currently a doctoral student at the Brandeis’ Heller School for Social Policy and Management. Cecilia’s concentration is in Behavioral Health with a focus on health inequities in communities of color. She received her Master’s Degree from the Educational Studies Department at Tufts University in 2013. In her previous work, Cecilia was the Health Promotion Center Manager at Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center where she was able to bridge two of her passions including addressing systemic racism and public health. In this role, Cecilia won a Partner’s in Excellence Award for her work as part of the Racism and Health Training Team. In the past, Cecilia was also the Co-Ambassador for Black Girls Run! Boston and is currently a certified Family Planning Counselor and Abortion Doula through the Boston Doula Project. In her free time, she enjoys running marathons and engaging in outdoor activities.

The 2016 Spirit of Fire Award winner is Lola Tom, who has been an active member of the Boston Chinatown and Quincy communities for the past 20 years. Her impactful career and dedicated passion have always been community-based and elderly-focused, working to enhance access to Asian eldercare services in Massachusetts. Lola is currently the Director of Asian Program and Community Development at Good Shepherd Community Care and manages its Asian hospice and palliative care program. She also serves on several committees and boards, including WLC Elderly Housing Management in Quincy, BIDH-Milton Hospital, Global Health Paradigm, and Boston Senior Home Care. Lola graduated from the University of Massachusetts in Asian American Studies and currently lives in Quincy.

“This event was created to acknowledge the struggles my wife Faye and I experienced during fight against breast cancer,” said Denise Bentley, founder of the Brunch.”Audre Lorde helped us to rediscover our resilient strength and warrior status. Because of her and the support of our women’s community we were able to cross the bridge from sorrow to a greater love and positive possibilities.”

Lola Tom

Lola Tom

The Audre Lorde Cancer Awareness Brunch is free to attend, but seats are limited. To RSVP, please click here or email Tanekwah Hinds at We hope you’ll join us for this annual celebration our community’s strength and resilience!

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