Wanna Wright was the heart and soul of our work at the Breast Cancer Fund for nearly two decades, serving on our board of directors with great distinction. We started calling Wanna our Poet Laureate in 1999 when she wrote “Alive /to Testify,” a powerful poem that expresses her deep concern for the health disparities faced by the low-income communities and communities of color that she was part of and worked on behalf of every day. "I's got to reach out to keep 'em alive, din you can teach 'em to testify 'bout de air an de waters dat's killin us daughtus," she wrote.
A breast cancer survivor and tireless advocate, Wanna volunteered her time, knowledge and heartfelt concern to speak out about the unconscionable rates of breast cancer incidence and mortality, especially among African-American women. She advocated for early detection, treatment and equitable access to care, and she helped shape the Breast Cancer Fund’s environmental health mission to prevent breast cancer before it starts. In 2001, to recognize her impressive contributions to breast cancer prevention, the Breast Cancer Fund honored Wanna with the Bella Abzug Advocacy Heroes Award.
With her purple hat and warm smile, and with her husband Charles at her side, she reminded us why we do this work, and we will not forget her. Wanna Wright, we dedicate our work to you with love and gratitude.