Newark’s Mayor Ras J. Baraka Talks Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Importance of Literacy

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month as we know people everywhere will be helping to raise awareness and funds to help combat this far to common illness. Women of color are greatly affected by this epidemic according to the American Cancer Society The breast is the leading site of new cancer cases for Black women, leading at 32%.

On Mayor Baraka’s monthly podcast’s   most recent episode he speaks to Yakima Deloatch, Community Manager of the American Cancer Society.  On this episode Yakima reveals she was a breast cancer survivor herself before working for the American Cancer Society she was diagnosed, treated, and her cancer went into remission.

“…So I’ve been walking in Newark since 2005 for my mother who passed away from metastatic breast cancer. Fast forward seven years later from starting to walk with her I’m diagnosed at 31 years old. The same age she was diagnosed in the late 80’s. It’s so real and for me I felt bad for my aunts. Because to go through it with their sister and then now to go through it with her baby girl, their niece that was almost my biggest concern. I was asking ‘are you guys ok’ while I’m the patient.”  

Yakima went on to explain how early detection and getting mammograms on time is important in the prevention of breast cancer. Newark, NJ’s Making Strides Walk takes place on Sunday, October 13, 2019. The walk will feature breast cancer survivor and hip hop mogul, Roxanne Shante. Participants can register at acsevents.org.


Credit: City of Newark


As this episode continues Mayor Baraka is joined by Alejandra Ceja, the Executive Director of the Panasonic Foundation. Many are unaware but tech company, Panasonic’s U.S.  headquarters is located in Newark, NJ. Ceja spoke about how one of the goals of the Panasonic Foundation is to give back to underserved communities. Education and how it impacts young people is one of the initiatives the Panasonic Foundation puts much of their focus.

During Ceja’s segment Mayor Baraka thanked her for the $80,000 donation made by the Panasonic Foundation to the Mayor’s Book Club.


 “I just want to thank you for the $80,000 donation to #NewarkReads and the work that we’re doing around trying to encourage literacy with the Mayor’s Book Club…”

Ceja explained how she was excited to be a part of what Newark was trying to do around literacy.

“…we all know that reading is fundamental and it is a huge indicator of success so when I heard from our colleagues at United Way and Toni Richardson that the Mayor wants a book club we were ready.”

You can hear the entire conversation between both ladies and Mayor Ras J. Baraka on episode 5 of his podcast, Ras in 60. You can stream the podcast on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, or Sound Cloud.


On previous episodes Mayor Baraka was joined with famed principal Akbar Cook, Sway Calloway, and many others. If you’d like to join the conversation post your question or comment via social media using the hashtag #Rasin60.