On Monday, Oct. 11, 2021, the Kappa Omicron Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Mu Omicron of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. collaborated to present “Let’s Get it Off Our Chest: Breast Cancer Cards, KOnvo & MOre.” The event was an opportunity for its attendees to learn about breast cancer and make cards for patients in the hospital.
The program started with a small introduction to the sororities, their histories and values. Following the introductions, attendees were given some guidance for writing their cards. The cards were not to be made out to specific people and not include phrases such as “get well soon” as a way to keep the cards positive and uplifting.
The 2015 documentary “The C Word” played in the background during the card making. “The C Word” is a documentary which seeks to bring awareness to cancer as well as clear up the many misconceptions surrounding it. The documentary helped illustrate a lot of the struggles that cancer patients faced after getting their diagnosis. Many of the patients talked about how their doctors didn’t really help them understand their illness, and they gave them incredibly simple and vague advice such as exercise.
To understand the meaning and importance behind this event, we spoke to a few people who helped organize and host the event.
We were able to speak to Jada Jant, the President of the Kappa Omicron Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. We also spoke to Lindsey Russ, the Vice President, and Jacori Crudup, the Physical and Mental Health Chair of the Mu Omicron Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Jant, Russ, and Crudup helped oversee and facilitate the event as well as contributing to the collaboration between the two organizations.
All three were asked why the event was important. Crudup stated, “breast cancer, especially breast cancer awareness, is pivotal because we are all about the empowerment of women and uplifting women.” She also mentioned how this event and learning about breast cancer is important to the black community, “a lot of black people do have that stigma about not going to the doctor.”
Adding onto that, Russ explained “A lot of things in the film that they mentioned were things like stress management, diet, exercise, and those are things that the black community sometimes lacks because of lack of opportunity. So, it was very important that we brought out individuals who look like us to this event so that we can learn about the different preventive measures that we can take.”
Jant explained, “We see this as a way of giving back to the community. Also, it’s a really important way to uplift the women and men struggling with breast cancer. Additionally, we have the educational aspect as well.”
The educational portion of the event provided information surrounding breast cancer that is not common knowledge. Jant explained how even though her organization does something for breast cancer every year, she is “still surprised by the things we go over, I feel that I am consistently learning things.”
They were also asked about the importance of making cards. Jant stated that “We think that raising money is nice but oftentimes people don’t get to feel the direct impact of the money… making cards goes directly to the breast cancer patients. It’s a great way to uplift them, dealing with anything like that is very hard, and it is hard to stay positive so that card could really make someone’s day.”
In a similar light, Russ stated that “One small thing can change your whole day.”
The Let’s Get it Off Our Chest: Breast Cancer Cards, KOnvo & MOre event provided a space to learn about breast cancer while servicing those with it.