“This is more than images and stories of a few women at varying stages of their breast cancer journeys.
Uncovered has been a cathartic means for me to express, in the most empowering way possible,
what has been a long and frustrating part of my breast cancer journey. This project is my
way of uncovering the voices of women of colour who are left in the dark when they
try to see themselves represented in the cancer community.”
— Michelle Audoin, diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at age 40
Uncovered: A Breast Recognition Project is a resource that focuses on the breast cancer experiences of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. Through powerful imagery and genuine storytelling, it shines a light on the physical and emotional scars of breast cancer, cultural barriers and health equity. Uncovered was created in collaboration with Michelle Audoin and developed in response to the significant underrepresentation of, and lack of support for, BI&POC in the breast cancer community. Through the amplification of this collection of stories and experiences, our hope is to help educate all people, including healthcare providers, on the realities and needs of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour with breast cancer, so they are better equipped to support all the people they care for.
This year, we are honoured to launch an expanded version of the Uncovered resource that highlights the realities of BI&POC with breast cancer in navigating the Canadian healthcare system. These stories are told through the lenses and experiences of 8 people from diverse backgrounds, including Jamaican, Nigerian, Guyanese, Trinidadian, Bajan, Inuk, Indian and Filipino voices. Learn more and read their stories in the new resource below:
A note from Michelle Audoin, creator of Uncovered:
“As a Black woman, I found the need to create a resource to solve a problem that women of colour didn’t create. The lack of representation of BI&POC bodies in the clinical cancer setting feeds a false narrative that we don’t get cancer, that we shouldn’t talk about it, that images of our bodies and scars don’t matter, or that earlier detection and screening guidelines don’t matter.
After releasing Uncovered: A Breast Recognition Project into the world in 2020, I saw how much it resonated with women who saw themselves through my own experiences, and not just Black women, but women of colour and Indigenous women too.
However, it was also surprising and troubling for me to learn that a year after Uncovered was launched, there were still women who felt like they were not truly seen and heard during their care, whether it was lack of access to reconstruction images featuring women of colour, or the misinformation about what radiation burns look like on dark skin. This is what inspired the second edition of Uncovered and the theme of Now You See Me, Now You Don’t. The cover, shared with my dear friend Caroline, speaks to how women of colour are coming together to support one another to be seen and heard.. This edition strives to shine a light on the humanity and various experiences of the women who courageously stepped forward to share their stories. And at the same time, it speaks to how the cancer care community is lagging behind in its ability to make systemic changes that would directly impact the lives and experiences of the BI&POC community. This resource illuminates these realities – see them, hear them, act on them.”
Read the Uncovered 2020 stories here.
Rethink is continuing to speak with Black, Indigenous and People of Colour about their experiences with breast cancer and navigating the healthcare system, uncovering their realities and sharing them. Read some of those stories below.
Rethink Breast Cancer is committed to doing better for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour in the breast cancer community. Uncovered: A Breast Recognition Project was one of our first steps, and we know there is more listening, learning and rethinking to do. More voices to help amplify, gaps to help fill and inclusive support provided. We are honoured Michelle has continued to trust us in bringing this project to life, and grateful to all of those who have contributed their stories and experiences in this amplification and celebration of BI&POC voices. Thank you.
Have any questions about Uncovered: A Breast Recognition Project? Want a copy of your own? Know a place in your community that you’d like to see copies of this resource kept? Contact us.