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Pink & Black Ambassadors

The Pink and Black Ambassadors are breast cancer survivors who empower other women to know their bodies, get screened, get treatment, and defy the odds. The ambassadors travel throughout the city, the state, and even the country to tell their personal stories and educate the public about this disease. Listen to their inspirational testimonials below, courtesy of www.livingconversations.com.

Would you like to invite the ambassadors to speak at your next meeting or conference? Contact Carmen Johnson​ at 617-534-4960. 


The late Reverend Quensella Cooper of Morning Star Baptist Church, Mattapan, had been an active member of the Civil Rights Movement in Tuscaloosa, AL. By the age of 15, she had become an eloquent speaker, walking in the path of Martin Luther King, Jr. Mrs. Cooper became a champion of causes for the disenfranchised and this translated into her work as one of the original Pink and Black Ambassadors. Sadly, Quensella’s voice was stilled on June 17, 2006.

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The late Stephanie Parrott, also an original Pink and Black Ambassador, passed away on October 1, 2008. She, too, was very active in her community and at her church, The Historic Charles Street AME Church of Boston. Stephanie was one of the first African American women in Boston to participate in a clinical trial. She recruited our youngest member, Luisa Knight, and was very knowledgeable about environmental hazards and cancer.

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Connie Reid-Jones is a 17+ year breast cancer survivor, now battling ovarian cancer. She has an M.Ed. in Management and works as a cancer genetic interviewer/researcher at Boston University’s Epidemiology Center. Connie is responsible for connecting the Pink and Black Campaign with Dr. Carolyn Kaelin’s Survivorship Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston.

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Augusta Williams, RN, MPH, has worked in the nation’s health care system for over 40 years. She is a 21+ year breast cancer survivor and a 24+ year bone cancer survivor; Augusta’s story is one of inspiration and empowerment. Serving this year as one of the Pink and Black co-chairs, she is an accomplished speaker and published author. Augusta is married to saxophonist and music teacher Fred Williams.

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Debra Groomes is a Pink and Black Ambassador who tells a powerful story of discovering her own lump on breast self-exam and finding it necessary to direct her OB/GYN doctor to the site. She is a proud beneficiary of early detection. Debra also participates with the Spirit Wise Sisters support group. As one of our pioneer ambassadors, her cancer outreach motto is “Each One, Reach One.”

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Helen Spann, one of our senior Ambassadors, is a lung cancer survivor as well as a breast cancer survivor. She is a retired nurse from the US Armed Forces. Originally from South Carolina, Helen is very active in her community and is a past president of her tenants’ association. She, too, is a pioneer Pink and Black Ambassador.

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Deanna Gross, an over 17+ year breast cancer survivor, grew up in Baltimore, MD. She is the founder of the health ministry at Morning Star Baptist Church, Mattapan, and has developed excellent one-on-one counseling skills with men and women battling major health issues. Deanna, also an original Campaign ambassador, will be drafting a cosmetics hazards piece for the Pink and Black Campaign.

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Carmen Johnson, a pioneer Pink and Black Ambassador, is an 11+year breast cancer survivor, now dealing with metastatic breast cancer disease. She served as the Campaign’s team leader until officers were elected in December 2008 and is now one of the co-chairs. Carmen, married to Polaroid retiree Willie Johnson, is an active member of the music and health ministries at Morning Star Baptist Church.

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Venatia Gilmer-Jones connects well to young people, having dealt with a benign cyst at the age of 16 and later with breast cancer in 2004 and again in 2007. Venatia is a student and an administrative assistant to the dean at Springfield College, Boston Campus. As a 4+ year breast cancer survivor, she volunteers with the Dana-Farber One-to-One program, supporting newly diagnosed BRCA-2 positive women.

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Michelle “Penny” Jones is a 2+ year breast cancer survivor and is one of the Campaign’s youngest members. She is a single parent of three children, ages 19, 9, and 8. Michelle is an active member at Calvary Holiness Church of America, Boston and works as an associate early childcare educator. She too participates in the Spirit Wise support group.
 

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Michelle High-McKinnon, after celebrating her 5-yearar cancer-free anniversary at age 40, Michelle learned that her cancer had spread. She too is a single parent of three children and has been a Boston Public School (BPS) teacher for many years, now a BPS administrator. Michelle has donated her hair to make wigs for other African American women encountering hair loss. Michelle is the ambassadors' program secretary.

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Luisa Knight is the Campaign’s youngest survivor, at age 35. She has a history of breast cancer in her family, having lost her Mom in 1988. Luisa is Spanish-English bilingual and is originally from the Dominican Republic. Luisa recently moved to Spain to explore career options and to be with her fiancé.  She enjoys being updated on Campaign activities.

 


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Phone:(617) 534-5395 Email: info@bphc.org