Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Working Group
The Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Working Group was created to help foster more diverse, representative, inclusive spaces in the breast cancer community, healthcare system and beyond. For far too long, historically and systemically marginalized communities have been excluded from many breast cancer conversations and spaces. This working group is actively working to change that.
This working group brings together the lived experience and knowledge of those identifying with historically and systemically marginalized communities and those who have received a breast cancer diagnosis. Together, this group works to identify gaps and needs in the breast cancer community and beyond to bring forth true change and foster a community of belonging. This group informs Rethink Breast Cancer’s priorities, from content, to resources, to special projects, to advocacy and more.
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Meet the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Working Group
Michelle (she/her) is a proud mother of two wonderful kids. Since her diagnosis of Metastatic Breast Cancer in 2017, she spends much of her days taking care of her health, walking her dog, and baking up goodness in the kitchen.
Michelle became involved with Rethink Breast Cancer when she was looking for community support with a focus on young women with breast cancer. She went on to create the Uncovered project in collaboration with Rethink, became a member of their MBC Advisory Board, and is a founding member of their EDI Working Group.
Raising awareness of the unique needs of BIPOC women in the cancer care community is important to Michelle. She became acutely aware of the disparities and discrepancies that exist within the system when she had to advocate for herself during her cancer journey. Michelle is committed to working with Rethink to break down barriers to health equity by pushing for systemic change that focuses on the needs of BIPOC cancer community. She strongly believes that historically underserved communities belong at the forefront of cancer care and should continue to seek change by raising their concerns. She is proud that Uncovered is a catalyst in bringing about some of the changes she hopes to see in the future of cancer care.
Caroline’s (she/her) days are filled with taking care of her children, and when she is not in “mom” mode, she spends her time reading, taking long walks and sharing a meal with good friends. She loves word games and you will often find her playing Scrabble, spelling bee and now Wordle.
Caroline learned about Rethink in 2019 through a very good friend. She had just completed her treatment and her friend came across the “Stretch, Heal and Grow” retreat hosted by Rethink while looking for ways for Caroline to come to terms with her diagnosis. Caroline was curious and applied, wanting to meet other women who had experienced what she had gone through. It was there that she learned about Rethink and its work in the breast cancer community and the work it does to promote a different way of thinking about breast cancer. The retreat was a balm for Caroline’s spirit and it was also where she met Michelle (Audoin). It was through Michelle that Caroline got actively involved with Rethink, joining the EDI working group to develop the 2nd edition of Uncovered in 2021.
As a Black woman and mother of two young girls, equity, diversity and inclusion work is very important to Caroline because she wants to leave behind a world where her girls will be seen, heard and thrive. Everyone deserves to be seen and heard and she wants to do her part to bring about positive outcomes to her community. Caroline hopes the EDI Working Group can accomplish a lot, as there is a lot of work to do and the group has had some early success with raising awareness about the unique challenges the BIPOC community faces in the breast cancer community. Ultimately, Caroline hopes that the group can influence decisions and contribute to better outcomes as it relates to breast cancer for BIPOC women.
As Rethink’s Lead of Content, Community + Collaborations and member of the EDI Working Group, Jasmine is focused on amplifying the diverse voices, identities and stories of those in the breast cancer community who have been historically and systemically marginalized, including BI&POC and 2SLGBTQIA+.
Jasmine is also passionate about addressing cultural barriers in community and healthcare settings, and fostering safe, empowered spaces for people to speak about their experiences, which Uncovered has been a catalyst for.
Health equity is a big goal and undertaking to work towards, but it is one that is desperately needed. To Jasmine, doing this work means finding tangible ways to have more culturally-informed, balanced, integrated care where patients feel supported in all areas, including cultural support and traditional medicine. As an important part of this work, Jasmine hopes Rethink’s EDI Working Group will be able to work more closely with Indigenous communities and Indigenous health advocates and leaders directly to explore and address existing gaps and the most pressing needs facing communities today.