“Soul of a Woman 4” is returning to Federal Way to share musical tribute performances, raise money to fight breast cancer and bring awareness to the importance of regular screenings for its prevention.
The event is at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 7 at the Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center, and will feature four musical artists and one live painter. The artists will be performing tributes to “four amazing Black women that have made a huge impact in the music business: Brandy, Jasmine Sullivan, Sade, and India Arie,” according to their event description.
Tickets are available for purchase online or at the door the day of the event, and many have been given away for free to breast cancer survivors and their families.
This is the seventh year that Dope Culture LLC has put on the event and the fourth time holding it in Federal Way. Anthony Tibbs, CEO of Dope Culture, told The Mirror that he has a very personal connection to breast cancer after losing his mother, grandmother and a girlfriend to the disease. His son’s mother, Michelle Tibbs, is also a survivor and will be speaking at the event.
A speaker from the Rivkin Center will also speak at the event. Rivkin is based in Seattle and provides education around breast cancer and ovarian cancer. The foundation also directly funds research into ovarian cancer through grants.
When it comes to Dope Culture’s events, Tibbs said that “everything has to have a meaning to it and has to benefit the community in some form or fashion.” He does this in many ways, whether through fundraising events like this one, the community meals he puts on each month, or by his goal to “enhance the lives of the people through the culture.”
This event specifically highlights bringing awareness to breast cancer in the Black community. A 2022 research report released by the American Cancer Society (ACS) found that “Black women still have a 4 percent lower incidence rate of breast cancer than white women but a 40 percent higher breast cancer death rate.”
The African American Breast Cancer Alliance mentions several differences that contribute to this discrepancy on their website: “Higher death rates among Black women likely reflect a combination of factors, including differences in stage of cancer at diagnosis, comorbidities, obesity rates, tumor characteristics, as well as timely access to screening, diagnostic and treatment services. Black women have twice the risk of Triple-Negative breast cancer, an aggressive type of the disease. We also have a higher risk of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic mutations that carry a higher risk of breast cancer.”
A correlation has also been found between long-term experience of racist laws and cancer rates. A Harvard School of Public Health article in 2017 stated that “A new study led by Harvard Chan School’s Nancy Krieger, professor of social epidemiology, suggests that, among U.S. women currently diagnosed with breast cancer, being born in a Jim Crow state heightened Black women’s risk of being diagnosed with tumors that have a worse prognosis.”
The core message of “Soul of a Woman 4” is for everyone to get checked early and often.
“If you just go get checked early, you can detect it early,” Tibbs said. “We’re trying to bring awareness to it because if they catch it, you can live a long life. You just can’t overlook it.”
Musical artists include Zane June, Talaya Anice, Jayza Duhon and Jamelia Boney, who received five standing ovations after she performed at the event last year, according to Tibbs. Visual artist Devona Roy will be live painting. She shared on her website that “I see so much beauty in our culture, our history, and our future. I’m just trying to paint it the way I saw it and the way I see it. I believe everyone deserves beautiful art.”
Tibbs said he especially wants to thank the Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center and FAME Equity Alliance Of Washington, who are sponsoring the event.