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.
Portia Scott Hedgepeth, Interim President
Portia Scott Hedgepeth was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 1993 at the tender age of 31 years old. She credits her survivorship to the 3 P’s: Power, Positive Thinking, and Prayer. Sisters Network has provided her with a great support resource for Black women that was not available when she was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. In addition to being a 27 year survivor, one of her greatest Blessings was the birth of her daughter Maya – post breast cancer.
In 2015, Susan G. Komen Triangle presented Portia with the Jane Mosley “Keep Up the Fight” award for making a significant difference in the fight against breast cancer during the Race For the Cure event. Portia graduated from Ferrum College in Ferrum, Va., with a B.S. in Small Business Management and a minor in Public Relations. She currently works in Real Estate as a property management specialist.
Portia is an active member in Sisters Network Triangle, NC and a regular volunteer of the Tea for Two, The Block Walk, and Outreach events. She also coordinates the Breast Cancer Awareness program at her church and is a regular participant in the Triangle Race for the Cure.
Portia is a native and current resident of Durham where she resides with her husband Lionel and daughter Maya.
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.