Susan G. Komen® California Declares August 1, 2015 as "Circle of Promise Day" Across California

To Commemorate Henrietta Lacks and Empower African-American Women with Breast Health Care Knowledge and Resources

Jul 28, 2015, 13:28 ET from Susan G. Komen California

LOS ANGELES, July 28, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Komen California proclaims August 1st as "Circle of Promise Day" to commemorate the birthday of Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman whose "HeLa" cancer cells have led to countless cancer treatment discoveries and cures for other life threatening diseases. The day will also provide a framework of inclusion and information sharing amongst African-American women to remind them of their risk for breast cancer and need to take preventative actions.

Henrietta Lacks' contributions to the field of medical science have led to improvements in health care and treatments for millions of people around the world.  "Yet, African-American women in the United States continue to die of diseases like breast cancer, at rates significantly higher than their white counterparts…This is unacceptable," says Dr. Judy Salerno, CEO of Susan G. Komen®.  So in working with the California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC) to author the Circle of Promise Day Initiative, Susan G. Komen "will honor Mrs. Lacks' memory, by redoubling its commitment to end these differences in outcomes for African-American women," says Dr.Salerno.

"The California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC) is also pleased to stand with Susan G. Komen and its Affiliates to commemorate August 1st as 'Circle of Promise Day' on Henrietta Lacks' birthday, an African-American woman, who lost her life to cervical cancer but whose contributions to science have gone on to save the lives of millions," said Assembly Member Reginald Jones-Sawyer, Chair of the CLBC. "There is no other day more appropriate for African-American women to take the 'promise pledge' as a commitment to improving their breast health and the health of those in their circle," says Mr. Jones-Sawyer.

Circle of Promise Day

To commemorate Circle of Promise Day, on August 1st 2015, Komen California Affiliates from San Diego to San Francisco will hold unique events around the state, where event attendees will take a "promise pledge" at 12pm, to actively encourage at least 10 women in their "circle" to get screened and be more proactive about their breast health. In effect forming a "circle of promise" between African-American women throughout the state of California, to take preventative measures against breast cancer.

Circle of Promise Day aims to help: 1) develop a higher level of breast health self-awareness and literacy among African-American women; 2) change the mindset among African-American women from that of fear, avoidance, and denial, to one of empowerment; and 3) drive the behavior change needed to enable African-American women to become their own breast health advocates.  

The goal of the Circle of Promise Day is to encourage African-American women across the state to get regular screenings, commit to annual mammograms, and foster a community of information sharing and engagement amongst the women in their "circle" that they love, honor, and care about, says Rhonda M. Smith, Project Manager for Circle of Promise California Initiative. In addition, Circle of Promise Day is intended to help increase awareness of the initiative and the importance of early detection, says Smith.

Please contact the Susan G. Komen Affiliate in your area for local details on Circle of Promise Day events. 

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About Susan G. Komen:
Every year, the seven California Affiliates of Susan G. Komen fund vital breast health services for women and men across the state. This year the Affiliates will invest more than $5.5 million in 110 grants in communities across the State. Seventy-five percent of every dollar raised by Komen in California funds local breast health outreach, education, diagnostic and treatment services for uninsured and underserved women. The remaining 25 percent goes to the Komen Research and Training Grants Program, the largest funder of breast cancer research in the world, after the U.S. government.

About Circle of Promise
Circle of Promise is a statewide initiative to address breast cancer disparities between African-American women, 40 and above, at the system, community, and individual levels; who are rarely or never screened, low-income, uninsured or recipients of Medi-Cal. The goal of the initiative is to empower African-American women with the knowledge and resources to enter and seamlessly move through a quality, culturally competent and coordinated system of breast health care. Launched by the seven California affiliates of Susan G. Komen, the initiative is funded in part by a grant from Anthem Blue Cross Foundation, L.L.C.  


SOURCE Susan G. Komen California