Sunday, Oct. 30, executive director at East New York Restoration, Colette Pean, hosted her Breast Cancer Awareness Bunch at the Fusion East restaurant in East New York.

She said that she chose to host her event in East New York because communities in this part of New York do not get enough information or resources with regards to health care. Pean said she was motivated to host the breast cancer brunch because it was so very much needed, and because whenever the media talk about breast cancer, they are mainly focusing on the white patients the disease affects. Many women of color who are going through this illness are not being motivated to get the help they need. Pean believes that it is important for her to host events such as this brunch because it shows Black women they can also have an event where they are seen “surviving and thriving.”

The results of her tremendous efforts were a wonderful show of support, love and laughter—and great food. Inspiration was the theme, and shrimp and grits, chicken and waffles, alongside ackee, codfish and boiled green banana were on the menu.

A.T. Mitchell at podium with Nayaba Arinde and Tomori (223397)

Fusion East is a new Caribbean and soul food restaurant located in East New York. This upscale restaurant is only a few months old, yet it is already becoming well-known around the East New York community. Andrew D. Walcott, owner and founder of Fusion East, grew up in Brooklyn, and said that he has always overcome any obstacles put in his way. The Breast Cancer Awareness Brunch is one of the many community-focused events the restaurant has catered. Walcott told the AmNews that his mother “was diagnosed with breast cancer about a decade ago.”

He added, “She received radiation treatment for several months, and there hasn’t been a recurrence since.” He said anything he “himself or Fusion East can do to support finding a cure for this disease will be done full heartedly, since it hit home in the not so distant past.”

(L-R) Melinda Perkins, Troy Carson, Nayaba Arinde, A.T. Mitchell, Alice Lowman , James Peterson (223400)

During the Sunday brunch, Nayaba Arinde, Amsterdam News editor and founder of the breast cancer support group Square Circles, was honored. Arinde is a nine-year breast cancer survivor, now living with multiple sclerosis.

“We felt that it was important to honor Ms. Arinde because we have seen her battle two illnesses, and still be able to maintain being strong for her daughters,” said Pean. “She is the epitome of a strong Black women!”

Filmmaker and founder of Darkling Productions, Dami Akinnusi-Rock, also attended the event. “I’m so glad I brought the whole family to celebrate and honor Nayaba, while breaking bread with her and her supporters,” she said. “I am so proud of how she has an organization that strives to benefit so many cancer survivors.”

Vin Taylor, Iman Essiet, Collette Pean, Rosalyn McIntosh, Nyasha Rivera-Adams (223406)

Pean told the AmNews that she is planning to do more health-related events with Walcott and Akinnusi-Rock.

Fusion East is located at 1179 Elton St., Brooklyn. For more information, please call 718-975-5065 or go to

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