Pictured from left to right: Larleslie McDaniel, Komen Orange County Circle of Promise Community Resource Advocate, Dr. Sheri Prentiss, Komen Ambassador for the African American Health Equity Initiative, David Lacks Jr., Henrietta Lack’s grandson, Wendy Shurleds, Komen San Diego Circle of Promise Community Resource Advocate, and Dr. Suzanne Afflalo, Komen Circle of Promise advocate.

Susan G. Komen’s National African American Health Equity Initiative had a summit this past June in Washington, D.C.

Komen Affiliates come together at the National African American Health Equity Initiative Summit to discuss this year’s topic: Towards Collective Impact: From Reducing Breast Cancer Disparities to Achieving Health Equity.

The Summit brought together groups of patients, advocates, community leaders, clinicians, scientists and policymakers in collective efforts to eliminate breast cancer disparities and implement viable solutions. Susan G. Komen San Diego’s Circle of Promise Community Resource Advocate Wendy Shurelds and Komen San Diego Community Advocate Dr. Suzanne Afflalo attended the summit.

“Breaking barriers is linking and addressing everything African American women endure with a whole health approach,” said Wendy Shurelds.

Circle of Promise is Susan G. Komen San Diego’s African American Outreach Initiative. In San Diego, despite having lower breast cancer incidence rates, African American women’s mortality rates are 41 percent higher than their counterparts. The same research indicates that African American women are often diagnosed at later stages, sometimes with more aggressive forms of cancer and at younger ages.
Komen San Diego is working to change this reality. We are conducting intensive peer-to-peer education where these women live, work, shop, pray or play. This effort allows Komen San Diego to bring education and medical services to a community where none exist.

Over 600 community leaders, along with Affiliates, partners, speakers, moderators, presenters contributed to a series of Breast Cancer Disparities Roundtables through FY 2015-2016, which served as an important “first step” in Susan G. Komen’s African-American HealthEquity Initiative.