About Us

Stop The Silence!

Who We Are

The mission of Sisters Network Triangle NC (SNTNC) is to increase awareness, both locally (in and around the North Carolina communities of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, known collectively as the “Triangle”) and nationally, of the devastating impact that breast cancer has in the African American community. SNTNC provides outreach education in underserved African American communities to encourage early breast cancer screening and offers a support network for breast cancer survivors and those afflicted with the disease. In support of its mission, the organization holds twice monthly support group meetings and a variety of outreach activities in the community.

SNTNC meets in Durham on the fourth Thursday and in Raleigh on the second Thursday of each month. These meetings allow individuals currently battling the disease to communicate with breast cancer survivors (and service providers) who share their stories and pass along pertinent information regarding other services that may be available to them.

Our Purpose

Our Mission

Sisters Network, Inc. is committed to increasing local and national attention to the devastating impact that breast cancer has in the African-American community.

National Creed

In Unity there is Strength, In Strength there is Power, In Power there is Change.

National Slogan

Stop The Silence!


Valarie Clark Worthy, President

Valarie Clark Worthy has been a registered nurse for over 33 years and has been employed by Duke University Health System for 10 years. Currently she is a Patient Navigator at the Duke Cancer Institute.

Valarie, a 15 year breast cancer survivor understands the importance of good health and has a passion for getting the word out to the community about early detection and good health practices. In 2003, she along with five breast cancer survivors organized the local chapter of Sisters Network, Inc., a survivorship organization for African American women with breast cancer. Additionally, Valarie and four other North Carolina breast cancer survivors’ stories on detection, treatment and survival are featured on a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC Foundation educational kiosk. This kiosk along with a Button chair (buttons of breast cancer survivors) exhibit travels throughout North Carolina.

A recipient of numerous awards, Valarie most recently received the American Cancer Society’s 2012 Lane Adams Quality of Life Award, which recognizes the unsung heroes of cancer care and are referred to as the “warm hand of service.” The award brings to light the critical role that outstanding caregivers play in the healing process.

In addition to her work with the American Cancer Society, Duke and Sisters Network Triangle NC, Valarie is active in health ministry both in Durham and her hometown, Ahoskie, North Carolina. She is frequently sought after as a dynamic speaker and compassionate healthcare professional.

Dean Johnson, Executive Board Chair

Dean Jeffries Johnson is Co-Founder/Vice-President of Sisters Network Triangle NC. She is President of the SNTNC Board of Directors. Dean was diagnosed with breast cancer on July 26, 2002. Immediately, she knew this diagnosis would change her life and she would make a difference in the community. It did not take long to realize, this area needed a support group for African American women starting this medical journey with breast cancer. Dean has been instrumental in helping our Chapter grow from the faithful six members to over sixty members today.

Dean’s idea of gathering all women together once a year for education, fun, and fellowship led to the success of our Annual Tea for Two Pink Ribbon Awareness Campaign. We are now celebrating our 12th Annual Tea for Two. Our Tea for Two is a model outreach event which other Chapters have successfully adopted.

Dean has been working as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) at Duke Medical Center for 23 years. She enjoys working with the patient and family to determine the problem and work towards a solution during their medical journey. She has received awards, certificates, and honors as a LCSW and her involvement in the Triangle community. Dean graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from North Carolina Central University. She received a Masters of Social Work from UNC-Chapel Hill.

She is married to Rev. Keith Johnson and has one son, Patrick. Dean and her family reside in Cary, North Carolina. Dean lives her life through her favorite Bible scripture since she was a child: Psalms 23.
It came in handy when receiving her Breast Cancer diagnosis.

Tanya Blue, Secretary-Treasurer

Tanya Blue is a graduate of Montclair State University, in Montclair, NJ with a BFA in Theatrical Design and Production. She worked on Broadway for 13 years before relocating to North Carolina a few years ago.

Tanya is an 11 year breast cancer survivor and her verse through this battle was “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mothers womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14.

Since moving to NC, Tanya has become an active member of Sisters Network Triangle NC, volunteering for the Look Good Feel Better program at Durham Regional Hospital and Hope for The Journey Cancer Care Ministry at Baptist Grove Church, where she is a member. Tanya started her own business, Chemo Beauty, where she puts beauty gift boxes together for cancer patients.

Tanya is married to her husband, Adonis Blue and they have a son, Adonis Blue, Jr. They currently resides in Raleigh, NC.

Carla Lewis, Treasurer

Carla D. Lewis, recognized in 1994 as an African American Business Professional, earned her BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her MBA from Strayer University.

Carla is a survivor who joined Sisters Network in January 2014 after being diagnosed in December 2013 with stage I Triple Negative Breast Cancer. her go to scripture throughout her cancer journey and to this day is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.

Carla is a registered Tax Return Preparer with over 25 years of accounting experience. She has held numerous Treasurer positions. Among these are Treasurer, HHS Class of 1984, (1984 – present), Treasurer of Board of Directors, Genesis Home (1997-1998), Bookkeeper – Calvary Ministries of the West End (1999-2002), and Treasurer, Nicole4Apex Town Council Campaign (2013-present). Carla is an active member of Sisters Network and volunteers with CARE ministry of World Overcomers Christian Church.

Coleen Crespo, Secretary

Coleen Crespo was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and raised in Fayetteville, NC, the oldest of seven children of a military family. She resides in Durham, N.C. and has one son, Iverson D. Trollinger, III, who attends Winston Salem State University.

She has earned a B.S. in chemistry with biology minor; and a Master of Information Science from North Carolina Central University. She is certified in Clinical Trials – Data Management.

With 23 years of professional experience, she has been employed the past seven years at Duke University. She is a Clinical Researcher Coordinator, III for the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology and is Patient Advocate for various Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill clinical trials.

The Alliance is a national clinical trials network sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. It seeks to reduce the impact of cancer on people by uniting a broad community of scientists and clinicians committed to discovering, validating and disseminating effective strategies for the prevention and treatment of cancer.

She is an active member of Sisters Network Triangle NC. She remains an active member of her local community, volunteering in the public school system and the Church.

Sisters Network Triangle NC Chapter (SNTNC), an affiliate of Sisters Network Inc. was established in February, 2003 by six breast cancer survivors. The Chapter’s founding members are: Valarie C. Worthy, Dean J. Johnson, Brenda Phillips, Jackie Thorpe-Hollingsworth, Jo Ann Blackston, and Liz Cofer. Two of our founding members, Jackie Thorpe-Hollingsworth and Jo Ann Blackston, have passed away since our inception. SNTNC was recognized as the Outstanding New Affiliate Chapter of 2003 by our national organization.

Currently, SNTNC has over 80 members. In 2017 we added a new meeting location in Raleigh, NC. at Chavis Community Center, 505 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Raleigh, NC 2760, the second Thursday of each month. We also meet the fourth Thursday of each month in Durham, NC. at, Kappas of Durham Foundation Community Center, 3917 Fayetteville Street in Durham NC. We adhere to our National Mission which is educating African American women on the devastating impact of breast cancer. We provide outreach and education to the women in the Triangle community and surrounding areas.

We are the oldest affiliate chapter of Sisters Network in North Carolina. There are Chapters in Greensboro, NC and Charlotte, NC. SNTNC has received numerous awards for our outreach efforts. We were recipient of the 5th Annual Lamplighter Award in 2006. SNTNC is a 501 (c) organization.

Our annual Tea for Two Pink Ribbon Awareness reaches over 5000 women through educational outreach efforts of local churches. We provide pink ribbons and information cards for each attendee to share with their respective churches. Last year, we had over 100 churches represented at the Tea for Two.

We encourage monthly self-breast exams, annual mammograms, and clinical breast exams. Thank you for helping us to reach our goal of educating African American women about breast cancer in the Triangle community. SNTNC appreciates your continued support as we continue to fight breast cancer in North Carolina.

Spotlight highlights a member of the Sisters Network Triangle organization. This member has worked in the community to educate other women about breast cancer and survivorship.

Anita Woodley is an award-winning journalist, producer, actress, poet, mixed-media folk artist, baker, and playwright. She is also a state-certified HIV counselor, a Durham Arts Council Emerging Artist in Drama and Literary, Improvisational Theater Teaching Artist for North Carolina’s Durham School District. Anita works as a Steward of Children and Community Education Intern for the Orange County Rape Crisis Center, teaching K-9th graders age-relevant prevention strategies to prevent and navigate sexual violence, bullying, sexual harassment and understand consent. Recently, she became a certified Parent Facilitator with Parent University to empower parents with increased confidence and skills needed to support their child’s success and effectively navigate the public school system in Chapel Hill, NC Schools.

Along with her own production company, Anita Woodley Productions, Mrs. Woodley is the Founder and President of the non-profit Spark Inner-Action, which promotes healthy lifestyle changes in communities with high risks for health disparities. In her spare time, she is a columnist for the News & Observer newspaper, the lead vocalist and “Piedmont Griot” for the Improvisational Jazz band N4HC Improvisational Jazz band, and an associate member of Sisters Network Triangle NC.

Mrs. Woodley is a native of Oakland, California where she grew up in Oakland Housing Authority and attended Oakland Technical High School. She served as the All-Student Body President in High School, PTSA Student Representative, and Youth Commissioner Co-Chair for the Mayor of Oakland’s Youth Council. She is an inaugural Hall of Honor inductee at her alma mater Oakland Technical High School in California with notable alumnus Marshawn Lynch, The Pointer Sisters, Rickey Henderson, and Clint Eastwood. In addition, Mrs. Woodley was inducted as an emerging artist in drama at the North Carolina Arts Council.

To date, Mrs.Woodley wrote and performed more than ten solo theatrical performances and DVD movies, including the critically-acclaimed, Bucking The Bull, Mama Juggs, and The Men in Me, touring throughout the U.S. and internationally to Cameroon, West Africa’s University of Yaounde. Anita creates new creative works that are transformational, non-traditional theatrical series called “Ethnodramas” to educate, promote, and prevent harmful practices to overall health. Mrs. Woodley’s work has proven to provide culturally appropriate and early intervention for disparities, such as from poverty, HIV/AIDS, breast cancer, stroke, heart disease, bullying, obesity, clinical trials and more. Mrs. Woodley’s creative work has been featured at the National Black Theatre Festival, New York’s Off-Broadway, Los Angeles, and Chicago, numerous universities, hospitals, and faith-based communities nationwide.

Mrs. Woodley has been invited to perform for audiences ranging from Benedictine Nuns at Sacred Heart Monastery to the University of Yaounde, Africa. In 2010, Anita reunited with the Tikar tribe in Cameroon, Africa, a meeting with her mother’s heritage. There, Anita became Princess Bekang, or Princess “Boomerang”, in the Chiefdom of the rainforest N’Ditam Tikar Village. Anita became the first African American descendant since enslavement to return to the N’Ditam Tikar village in the bush and she learned their native language. The stories of her journey aired worldwide.

Mrs. Woodley’s journalism career started while attending San Francisco State University school of Broadcasting, Radio, and Television. She worked for NBC, CBS, and landed her first on-air newscast with the PBS sister station KMTP called “Newsnight with Anita Morgan”. She achieved those milestones while a full-time undergraduate junior student pursuing her Bachelor of Arts degree at San Francisco State University. Anita Woodley graduated college in the top 8% of the Class of 2000, Top 15% in the country, and Magna Cum Laude. Three months after graduating college, Mrs. Woodley was hired at CNN’s Headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia to associate produce domestic news. She went on to work for a FOX affiliate and spent 7 years in Chapel Hill with the nationally syndicated National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate station, WUNC-FM’s award winning show “The Story with Dick Gordon”.

Mrs. Woodley’s accolades in the field of Radio and Television Journalism, spanning more than 20 years, were earned from the Harry Chapin Foundation for Hunger and Poverty in New York, the National Association of Journalists, and an Emmy award for exceptional coverage on September 11, 2001 when the World Trade Center in New York was attacked. Learn more about Anita’s innovative creative work on her website, www.AnitaWoodley.com.