This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing

with Julia Rowland, Ph.D.

This group, led by a licensed psychologist, is designed to provide cancer caregivers with the opportunity to meet other caregivers, learn about useful tools for self-care, and explore ways to thrive in the caregiving role.

Julia’s Caregiver Support Group meets Bi-Monthly on Mondays from 6:00 – 7:00pm.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • August 31
  • September 14 & 28
  • October 5 & 19
  • November 2 & 16
  • December 7 & 21

About Julia Rowland, PhD

Julia Rowland, PhD, who joined Smith Center in October 2017, comes to this position as a long-time clinician, researcher and teacher in the area of psychosocial aspects of cancer. She has worked with and conducted competitively funded research among both pediatric and adult cancer survivors and their families, and published broadly in psycho-oncology, including co-editing, along with Dr. Jimmie Holland, the ground-breaking text, Handbook of Psychooncology.  She has also been a frequent speaker on cancer survivorship, or life after cancer, for both professional and lay audiences.

Julia received her PhD in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in psychosocial oncology. While at MSKCC, where she held joint appointments in pediatrics and neurology, Julia helped to develop and was the first Director of the Post-Treatment Resource Program, one of the first non-medical survivorship care programs to be offered by a major cancer center in the U.S. In 1990 she moved with her husband and two young children to Washington, DC to become founding Director of the Psycho-Oncology Program at Georgetown University and the Lombardi Cancer Center. There she helped expand services to meet the psychosocial needs of cancer patients and families, launched some of the first quality of life clinical trials, and also introduced a program to enable first year medical students to learn the art of caring for those living through and beyond cancer from survivors themselves and Lombardi faculty. Nine years later, in September of 1999, she was recruited to the National Cancer Institute to become the first, full-time Director of the Office of Cancer Survivorship, a position in which she served for 18 years, championing the growth of survivorship research and care, before stepping down in September 2017 to assume her new role at Smith Center. Although new to the team, Julia is no stranger to Smith Center. She knew Smith Center’s founder, Barbara Smith Coleman, and has volunteered her expertise across the years as a speaker, group leader and staff member for both the 1-day and weeklong residential retreats. Julia brings to her new role a passion to translate what research has taught us about healing in the context of cancer to the broader community, in essence, taking the science of survivorship from the lab bench to the park bench.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. Please register to Claudia at 202.384.8342 to receive the Zoom link to participate.

Este programa se ofrece prácticamente a través de Zoom. Regístrese en Claudia al 202.384.8342 para recibir el enlace Zoom para participar.

Smith Center es ahora el anfitrión de los Grupos de Apoyo para la Comunidad Latina en Español

Estamos muy felices de anunciar que seremos los anfitriones de los grupos de apoyo de Nueva Vida para la comunidad latina. Nueva Vida es una organización independiente, sin fines de lucro, que proporciona servicios integrales de cáncer gratuitos, a las familias latinas en el Distrito de Columbia, Virginia del Norte (hasta el sur de Prince William County), Suburban Maryland (Condados de Montgomery y Prince George), Richmond, y Baltimore. Otros servicios incluyen educación y divulgación en la comunidad latina, asi como navegación de pacientes para exámenes de detección y tratamiento de cáncer.

En Smith Center, Nueva Vida tendrá grupos de apoyo que se enfocan en el apoyo al trauma asociado con el diagnóstico de cáncer. Estos grupos proporcionan a las latinas la oportunidad de identificar y expresar sus sentimientos, en un lugar seguro, y lleno de empatía, así como compartir sus sentimientos con otras personas que están o han pasado por similares circunstancias. Las reuniones semanales, se combinan con una actividad de reducción del estrés (Zumba o Yoga).

Para registrarse, llame a Claudia a Nueva Vida: 202.223.9100.

Smith Center Now Hosting Support Groups for the Latino Community in Spanish

Nueva Vida is an independent nonprofit that provides free, comprehensive, culturally competent cancer services to medically underserved Latino families in the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia (as far south as Prince William County), Suburban Maryland (Montgomery & Prince George’s Counties), Richmond, and Baltimore. Other services include outreach to the Latino community and Patient Navigation for cancer screenings and treatment.

At Smith Center, Nueva Vida will be providing support groups that are focused on supporting the trauma associated with a cancer diagnosis. These groups provide Latina women the opportunity to experience a catharsis of feelings, where they feel safe to identify, verbalize, empathize, and share their feelings with others who are in similar circumstances. All support group meetings are paired with a stress reduction activity (either Zumba or Yoga).

To register, call Claudia at Nueva Vida: 202.223.9100.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing

with Kevin Miller and Kenneth Johnson

We are a group of gay men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer or who are recovering from treatment that offer support to each other. In a peer-led community, we share our experiences and understanding to help one another best deal with our own personal situations.

The Healing Circle for Gay Men with Prostate Cancer meets Monthly on Thursdays from 7:00pm – 8:30pm.

Upcoming Dates: 

  • August 27
  • September 24
  • October 29
  • November 19
  • December 17

Registration for this program is now full. If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please email

with Brandel France de Bravo

Compassion Cultivation Training©, Thursday evenings (6:30 pm to 8:30 pm) on Zoom from July 9 through August 27th. Would you like to start or deepen a meditation practice and also help support the Smith Center? One hundred percent of course fees will be donated to the Center. And for those experiencing financial difficulties, please don’t let course fees keep you away! Tuition reductions and waivers are available by emailing the instructor (see below).

Thanks to Covid-19 and its economic and emotional aftermath, we are facing challenges never experienced before, individually and as a society. By strengthening our natural capacity for compassion, empathy and kindness—for ourselves and others—we can become more resilient and better able to cope with the uncertainties of life during a pandemic.

Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) is an eight-week course developed over a decade ago by a team of contemplative scholars, clinical psychologists, and researchers at Stanford University. Many who have taken the course say that it has given them a sense of balance and allowed them to live with greater joy and intention. When we become more aware, open, and curious about the world and the people around us, we can tap into the compassion inside of us to connect with others and be gentler on ourselves.  Practicing compassion can alleviate our worries and fears so we can become powerful forces for good — in our relationships, families, workplaces, and communities.

Classes will be held weekly on Thursdays via Zoom (6:30 pm to 8:30 pm) from July 9 through August 27th. Each class builds upon the previous but if you have to miss a class one week, that’s okay. Each week includes:

  • In-class guided meditations and online recordings for use at home
  • Group discussions and in-class exercises relevant to each week’s theme
  • Optional readings, videos, and practices for outside the classroom to enhance learning and support a daily meditation and compassion practice

Cost of course: $325 before June 25th, and $375 after June 25thALL PROCEEDS WILL GO TO THE SMITH CENTER FOR HEALING AND THE ARTS. To request that the course fee be reduced or waived due to financial hardship, kindly email Brandel France de Bravo and let her know what amount is comfortable for you to pay. Write to:

About Brandel France de Bravo

Brandel France de Bravo holds a Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University and is a graduate of Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers. She has two decades of experience researching and designing health interventions in the U.S. and abroad. She has run an HIV prevention program in Africa, designed harm reduction strategies for intravenous drug users in Central Asia, and developed materials to help cancer patients in the U.S. make informed decisions about their treatment. She is co-author of a parenting book influenced by the RIE philosophy of infant-toddler care and is a published poet and essayist. She studied Compassion Cultivation Training with founding faculty while a fellow at Stanford University and is honored to be a certified teacher of CCT.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing

with Charity Sade

Coping Through Comedy’s comedy writing workshop is offered to cancer patients/survivors. The intention of the workshop is to provide a safe and creative environment for those touched by cancer to be able to express themselves and find the humor surrounding the difficulties in life and cancer. No previous comedy writing experience is necessary.

The group is held on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of every month. Participants can attend on a drop-in basis, but prior registration is required.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • August 26
  • September 9 & 23
  • October 7 & 21
  • November 4 & 18
  • December 2 & 16

This program is sponsored by the Livestrong Foundation. Additional donations are always welcome.

About Charity Sade

Charity Sad​e​ is an up and coming comedian from Indiana, but has resided in Washington, D.C. for the last 8 years.

She has performed across the country, and won a new comic competition at Greenwich Village Comedy Club. ​Within her first year of comedy, Charity made her festival debut at the 2018 DC Comedy Festival as well as the Chicago Women’s Funny Festival.

She has always used humor to get through difficult moments in her life, including her breast cancer diagnosis at age 27. ​On stage, she takes her difficult life experiences and turns them into relatable, humorous tales. Her comedic superpower is her ability to make you simultaneously laugh and cringe.

Charity is the creator and founder of Comedic Relief: Coping Through Comedy. You can catch Charity hosting, producing, and performing on shows across the DMV.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing

with Project Knitwell and Friends

Join us weekly to enjoy knitting in a safe and welcoming environment. Knitting can provide a respite from one’s immediate situation, serve as a way to productively pass the time, and have a positive effect on reducing stress symptoms. It is relatively easy to learn, requires no artistic talent or prior experience, is portable, and results in a useful product. Sometimes referred to as the “new yoga” — plain and simple — knitting is good for you. In this program, trained volunteers will provide knitting instruction and a quality materials in an effort to foster wellness, comfort, and community among participants. Beginner and experienced knitters are welcome. Starter kits are available, as is a small selection of yarn and knitting supplies.

Stone Soup Films and Project Knitwell created a beautiful 3-minute video highlighting the health benefits of knitting. Watch the video here!

Our Knitting Circle meets Weekly on Wednesdays from 3:00 – 4:30pm.

Our programs are open to the community and tailored to meet the needs of people affected by cancer. Classes and workshops are free or low cost on a pay-as-you-can basis, ensuring that our programs are accessible to everyone.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing

with Yael Flusberg, C-IAYT, E-RYT500, RMT, MS

Enjoy a greater sense of well-being and enhanced energy in our gentle yoga classes. Learn various yoga postures, techniques in progressive relaxation, breathing practices, and meditation to help reduce stress, as well as balance mind, body, and spirit. Our classes are specifically designed for adults facing stress, cancer, or other illness and are open to anyone interested in attending. All levels are welcome.

In addition, our yoga classes are listed with the National MS Society and we welcome patients and caregivers of those with multiple sclerosis to our gentle yoga classes.

Yael’s Gentle Yoga Class Meets Weekly on Tuesdays from 6:00pm – 7:15pm.

Our programs are also open to the community, and tailored to meet the needs of people affected by cancer. Classes and workshops are free or low cost on a pay-as-you-can basis, ensuring that our programs are accessible to everyone.

Suggested Donation for 1 Class: $10

Suggested Donation for 1 Month of Classes: $25

About Yael Flusberg

Yael Flusberg Gentle Yoga Instructor Smith Center
Yael Flusberg first came to yoga hoping she could get rid of stuff, namely the ways life’s stresses and traumas had become painfully embodied. Fifteen years and thousands of layers of release later, yoga continues to teach her how to make strategic, creative, and life-nourishing choices. Trained as an integrative yoga therapist, Yael’s classes blend active with receptive states of being, and are both insightful and lighthearted. Off the mat, she is a coach, writer and energy therapist. Since 2005, Yael has taught yoga classes at area hospitals, libraries, workplaces, schools, and yoga studios. As an integrative yoga therapist (E-RYT500) she facilitates both group and individual yoga therapy sessions, working with people dealing with a variety of conditions including cancer, digestive disorders, diabetes, eating disorders, fibromyalgia, hypertension, mental health challenges (including depression, anxiety, grief and trauma), rheumatoid arthritis, scoliosis, and sports injuries. She currently teaches a weekly therapeutic class for people living with cancer and their caregivers on GW’s campus. More info:

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing

with Beth Lawrence, RYT 500

Our chair yoga practice will connect body and mind. You are invited to relax deeply as we move through a series of gentle seated and supported poses that promote self-care. All levels welcome.

Our Chair Yoga classes meet each Tuesday afternoon from 12:00 – 1:00pm.

Suggested Donation for 1 Class: $10

Suggested Donation for 1 Month of Classes: $25

Our programs are open to the community, and tailored to meet the needs of people affected by cancer. Classes and workshops are free or low cost on a pay-as-you-can basis, ensuring that our programs are accessible to everyone.

About Beth Lawrence

Beth discovered yoga in early 2002 as a mother of six month old twins. She was looking to get back into shape after their birth. In yoga, she found far more than she anticipated- an age old practice designed to help people relieve stress- both mental and physical. After a few years of regular practice, she knew she wanted to share her positive experiences with others. She has been leading yoga classes in the DC area since 2007 after completing her 200 hour yoga teacher training at Nth Degree Yoga with Martha Rosen. In 2011, she went back to earn her RYT500. Her personal practice is inspired by Integral Yoga and Sivananda Yoga, both of which incorporate body and mind into the practice.

with Kiersten Gallagher

House Calls with Kiersten offers an opportunity for our program participants to check-in and chat bi-monthly with Kiersten on Zoom or by phone, whichever is your preference. All of our face-to-face interactions that we are accustomed to having at Smith Center – when you walk in the door, when we interact in the programs I facilitate, and the times that we connect after you’ve attended other classes and workshops – are very important to me. I would like to set this time aside, for you and I, to catch up and address any concerns, to be philosophical together, or to laugh together; it’s up to you!

Continue reading House Calls with Kiersten

Please visit to register.

In Partnership with 2Unstoppable and Life with Cancer

Whether you are new to yoga or an experienced yoga practitioner, this class is for anyone touched by cancer, including caregivers, family & friends.

Once registered, you will receive a Zoom invite to join the day of class.  An invitation will be sent around 20 minutes before the start time of class

NOTE:  If you are experiencing any difficulties on the day of class, please email (please check your Spam folder just in case the Zoom email got delivered there instead of your inbox).

Click here to learn more and register.

About 2Unstoppable

 2Unstoppable is a non-profit whose mission is to encourage and support exercise among women who have had a cancer diagnosis. Free online fitness buddy matching, oncology fitness resources, and community events at Please visit for a list of upcoming events.