Yolonda Ross on shaving her head for The Chi & $100k breast cancer donation

Yolonda Ross

Yolonda Ross, star of the ground-breaking Showtime series The Chi, announced with Rhonda Feinberg, a special donation of $100,000, funded by The Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation, to three grassroots organizations serving women of color who are living with breast cancer.

Based on personal life experiences and in tandem with her performance as “Jada” on The Chi (a single black mother diagnosed with breast cancer), Ross was inspired to get involved in Chicago’s WOC breast cancer survivor community and collaborate with three remarkable Chicago organizations that support women’s health.

On the show, Ross famously shaved her long, beautiful hair on camera, as her character embarks on her breast cancer journey.

Yolonda Ross

Ross conducted extensive research to understand her character’s experience and cancer journey. As a result, she got involved in the WOC breast cancer survivor community with an introduction to Dr. Melissa Simon, vice-chair of research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University, who connected Yolonda to three Chicago not-for-profit organizations that she chose for the gift – The Center for Heath Equity Transformation (CHET), Equal Hope, and the Tatisa C. Joiner Foundation.

Rhonda Feinberg, a breast cancer survivor and leading healthcare advocate, was so inspired and moved by Ross’s performance as “Jada” and her work in the community, specifically the focus on healthcare and treatment disparities that WOC experience, that she asked Yolonda how she could help. Ross replied, “Invest in these grassroots not-for-profits, on the frontlines, doing the real work that’s making a major impact in black women’s lives. They are providing urgently needed support to transform their immediate experience, particularly individuals lacking the very basic resources needed as they are forced to face a life and death situation with breast cancer.”

“As a breast cancer survivor, I understand first-hand the challengest hat are required to undergo the journey through treatment,” said Feinberg. “Yolonda’s performance on The Chi tells the story powerfully and movingly, but also shows how women of color very often have enormous obstacles accessing vital treatment. I’m so proud to team with Yolonda not only to shine a light on the wonderful organizations helping with this cause, but also to support them with critical funding for the tremendous work they do.”

In celebration of the women in the WOC breast cancer survivor community, the not-for-profit organizations, and the $100,000 donation, an event will be held at Hilton | Asmus Contemporary, 3622 S Morgan St., on Saturday, Oct. 30 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. The event will unveil five large-scale photographs of breast cancer survivors titled Beauty is Me, photographed by Ross herself. In addition, Feinberg and Ross will officially award the $100,000 that will be distributed between the three organizations, and will discuss how the gift came to be.

The event is free and open to the public.  For more information VISIT HERE.


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