YW Boston President & CEO Beth Chandler receives Spirit of Fire award


YW Boston President & CEO Beth Chandler received the Spirit of Fire award at Fenway Health’s 21st Annual Audre Lorde Cancer Awareness Brunch last Saturday, October 19. The event is a celebration of women of color and their supporters whose lives have been affected by cancer. Started in 1999, the Audre Lorde Cancer Awareness Brunch is named in memory of Audre Lorde.


In 1999, Denise Bentley, a former Fenway Health employee, founded the event in honor of her late wife Lorraine “Faye” Fayette Johnson. She created a space to honor two warrior women who battled breast cancer: her wife and Audre Lorde, a self-described “Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet” who dedicated her life to addressing the injustices of racism, sexism, and homophobia. Denise recognized that cancer uniquely affects women of color and the LGBTQ+ community and established a venue to discuss these health disparities, build community, and celebrate life. 


Event attendees at the 21st Annual Audre Lorde Cancer Awareness Brunch enjoyed a delicious brunch provided by a minority-owned business in the Boston area while gathering within a healing space for all women, including queer and trans women. In addition to the Spirit of Fire award, the event program included the presentation of the Trailblazer award. The Trailblazer award was presented to Fenway Health Women’s Health Program Coordinator and YW Boston Advocacy Committee member Tanekwah Hinds.


Photo courtesy of Aram Boghosian.