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Dialogue: Black Family Cancer Awareness (Part 1)

June 17-23, 2021 is National Black Family Cancer Awareness Week. Black families are among the most vulnerable and hardest hit for cancer risk, diagnoses, and poor outcomes. We invited Col. (Ret,) James (Jim) Williams, prostate cancer survivor and Dr. Brian Rivers, director, Cancer Heath Equity Institute, to discuss how the research and advocacy communities can create awareness in the black family.

A prostate cancer survivor since 1991, Col. (Ret.) Jim E. Williams is principal, Jim Williams and Associates, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania – a consulting firm specializing in human resources management, prostate cancer awareness, education, and advocacy. Prior to launching Jim Williams and Associates, Jim was the operations manager, human resources, Penn State Geisinger Health System – The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania. Other professional experiences include director, human resources, American Bar Association at its headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, and as a corporate personnel manager, Montgomery Ward and Company, Inc. at its headquarters in Chicago.  He retired from the United States regular Army as a full colonel prior to joining Montgomery Ward.

Dr. Brian Rivers is professor and director of the Cancer Health Equity Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM). Rivers is nationally and internationally recognized as a leader in health disparities research and a retired member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Advisory Council on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NACMHD).   Rivers is a behavioral scientist with a broad background in implementation science and public health, with specific training and expertise in methodologies commonly used to addressing health disparities. Rivers also serves as the director of the Integrating Special Populations Program of the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) funded Georgia Clinical and Translational Science Alliance. Rivers has presented his novel and innovative research findings in diverse settings including the First Congress on Oncology Clinical Trials (Lagos, Nigeria); Movember International Prostate Cancer Consortium (Queensland, Australia); South by Southwest (SXSW) conferences; and the National Press Foundation.