Me & My Sisters

1. Describe the project a STAKE Grant would help you accomplish (100 words):
Featuring poetry, prose and photos about women of color who have battled various forms of cancer, “Me & My Sisters” will be a website and blog honoring the experiences of survivors, family members of survivors, and friends who have lost loved ones to cancer. Subtitled Women of Color, Pretty in Pink, this site will also pay tribute to Audre Lorde, world renowned and self-described “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,” Caribbean-American writer and activist, who wrote and published The Cancer Journals in 1981, before her 1992 death after a fourteen-year battle with breast and liver cancer.

2. How will you use the grant toward the realization of your project? $800 is your imaginary budget (50 words):
The grant will be used to provide small stipends to a website designer, photographer, and twelve selected contributors of poetry, prose, and photos.

3. A little about yourself and what led you to your current creative goals. This may include a previous project of yours, ways it both succeeded and failed (this can be entirely unrelated to your proposal) (100 words):
I am a published poet and essayist, and the recipient of several community-based poetry writing awards, including the second place recipient of the 1998 Sonia Sanchez/Audre Lorde Poetry Writing Award. Recently, I edited and published a collection of short stories and poems—For Women: In Tribute to Nina Simone—by twenty-six writers of color from around the world, which resulted in the creation of performance ensemble, For Women Collective. My goal for “Me & My Sisters” is to similarly offer a place for sharing writings about the cancer journey. On a personal note, my mother died of cancer in 2001.

4. Why is this project important? How will it benefit the community? (100 words):
Art and activism are tools for advocacy. This project is important because writing has the ability to make a path for self-empowerment and healing by engaging individuals in the creative process. In addition to the voices collected on the site, this project aims to provide a support mechanism and resource for the specific population that it is intended to serve. While there are many organizations committed to the needs of those faced with the disease of cancer, disparities of service within the healthcare industry for people of color continues to be limited. “Me & My Sisters” can make a difference.