Roosevelt Grier

*September 16th and 17th will be the Sixth Annual African American Prostate Cancer Disparity Summit hosted by the Prostate Health Education Network, Inc. (PHEN) in Washington D.C. This year’s summit focuses on enhancing partnerships with churches in the fight against prostate cancer.

The summit plans to fight against the saying “when America has a cold, African Americans have pneumonia” but in the context of prostate cancer. According to PHEN, Black men are diagnosed with prostate cancer at a rate 60% higher, and die from the disease at a rate 150% higher than all other men, which is the largest racial disparity for any type of cancer.

In response, PHEN is looking towards outreach efforts with Black churches nationwide on their main session September 17th during the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference at the Washington Convention Center. This is an effort that is based on the high numbers that came to PHEN’s first annual “Father’s Day Rally Against Prostate Cancer” this year, which was partnered with hundreds of churches across the country.

Attending the summit will be congressional leaders, as well as leaders from the National and Progressive Baptist Conventions and the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Also expected to be there is Reverend Roosevelt Grier, former pro football player and prostate cancer survivor, along with survivor and R&B singer Charlie Wilson as a singing act.

“Our communities need to become the most knowledgeable to eliminate the prostate cancer crisis,” PHEN president and founder Thomas Farrington says. “Working in partnership with churches, in combination with our national survivor network and internet educational tools, PHEN will be able to reach into most Black communities in the country,” he adds.

The entire summit is free and open to the public. Prostate cancer survivors, church and community leaders and medical professionals are encouraged to attend. PHEN is a Boston-based, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 2003 by Thomas A. Farrington, a prostate cancer survivor, and author of the books “Battling the Killer Within,” and “Battling The Killer Within and Winning.”