Calumet candle ceremony raises awareness for domestic violence and breast cancer
To help our community discover ways to overcome together, the Domestic Violence Program at Metropolitan Calumet held a candle ceremony to offer education and awareness around Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Part of a wide slate of awareness and resource activities at the Calumet Center, the “Handling Domestic Violence” event brought together staff, community partners, clients, and program participants in the Center’s support area to share sentiments and stories of domestic violence and breast cancer survivors.
In the past, this event has been a balloon release of Pink & Purple balloons, however, this year in an effort to be environmentally friendly, staff chose a candle ceremony. The candles were lit as people called out the names of all they know who survived or passed on due to domestic violence or breast cancer.
“It was a very cathartic experience,” says Clinical Program Supervisor Cynthia Gordon. “People felt a sense of comfort, togetherness, support.”
People shared their experiences with breast cancer and domestic violence, read poetry, and provided key education on each issue.
Tawanah Simmons, of Calumet’s Moms Plus Program, shared statistics primarily about African American women, as well as ways to help reduce risk of breast cancer – including managing diet, exercise, and stress, and the importance of mammograms and checking for lumps for both men and women. One of the men at the event was surprised that men can get breast cancer, and said he had never heard that before.
As the ceremony closed, people enjoyed purple and pink cupcakes, coffee, and hot chocolate.