SLU Turns Out to Support Breast Cancer Awareness
Though the times might call for social distancing, Saint Louis University’s Fairy God Walkers still appeared at sites around the St. Louis area to raise awareness about how breast cancer impacts women of color as part of the Sista Strut 2020 Virtual Celebration on Saturday, Oct. 3.
Sixty staff, faculty, students and friends of the University gathered with masks and in small, distanced groups to mark Sista Strut, an annual tradition that normally includes a march in downtown St. Louis. This is the fourth year that the SLU community has turned out for the walk.
Research has shown that African American women are more likely to develop breast cancer at a younger age and to die from the disease than Caucasian women of the same age. Sista Strut recognizes the strength of survivors, their family and friends, heightens awareness, promotes early detection and the search for a cure.
Due to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, this year’s Strut was a more dispersed event but one that still brought the SLU community out in force, including members of the University’s chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha for the first time. Due to COVID-19, the event was free and virtual.
Socially distanced groups included Heman Park in University City, Dardenne Greenway Trail in St. Peters, Tower Grove Park, St. Ferdinand Park in North County, Forest Park and Benton Park. Other photos were shared on the Sista Strut Facebook page.
Patricia McQueen organized the Heman Park group; Regina Walton organized the Dardenne Greenway Trail group; student Tory Christian and Zeta Tau Alpha organized on-campus; Pamela Jackson organized the Tower Grove Park walkers; and Jamie Motley, Ph.D., organized the group in Forest Park.
SLU has fielded some of the Strut’s largest teams in years past. In 2019, more than 120 people participated as part of the University’s team and raised more than $3,500 for local groups dedicating to helping women fight breast cancer, to supporting survivors and to advancing research.
While in previous years, SLU’s team collectively raised funds as part of the Strut, this year, individuals had the option to donate to the following organizations: The Breakfast Club, Pink Angels, Siteman Cancer Center and/or the SSM Health Foundation.
SLU’s participation in the Strut is spearheaded by the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement and the Saint Louis University Cancer Center has been a key collaborator in years past and is the co-sponsor of SLU’s Fairy God Walkers.
Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic institutions. Rooted in Jesuit values and its pioneering history as the first university west of the Mississippi River, SLU offers nearly 13,000 students a rigorous, transformative education of the whole person. At the core of the University’s diverse community of scholars is SLU’s service-focused mission, which challenges and prepares students to make the world a better, more just place.