Chris Hansen, ACS CAN President

ACS CAN President Lisa Lacasse shares her views on the impact of advocacy on the cancer fight.


Pursuing Health Equity Through New and Diverse Partnerships

April 18, 2017

Photo of National Black Justice Coalition Staff and ACS CAN staff signing partnership papers.

April is National Minority Health Month, which recognizes the need to raise awareness about health disparities that continue to affect minority communities and the need for health equity.  Minority groups in the United States continue to bear a greater cancer burden, largely due to factors like poverty and lack of access to prevention, early detection and high-quality treatment services. These factors make the work that we’re doing at ACS CAN at the state, federal and global levels critically important.


During this month and throughout the year, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is working to close the cancer disparities gap by supporting policies that help eliminate disparities in cancer research, prevention, screening, treatment and mortality. As part of these efforts, ACS CAN works in partnership with organizations to reach diverse communities impacted by cancer. These partnerships are a vital tool that enables ACS CAN to help the American Cancer Society achieve its vision of a world free from pain and suffering from cancer. 


Recently, the American Cancer Society and ACS CAN jointly entered into a new partnership with the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC). NBJC is a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering the Black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community through health and wellness initiatives and ensuring these issues are part of the national health care dialogue.  Through this collaboration, ACS CAN, the American Cancer Society and NBJC will raise awareness about cancer issues in the Black LGBT community through educational initiatives, and through ACS CAN, advocate on issues that will address disparities and expand access to health care and cancer prevention efforts in the Black LGBT community. 

In addition to the NBJC, ACS CAN is also working with the Gates Millennium Scholars Program (GMSP), which offers full scholarships to qualified students from the African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American and Asian Pacific Islander communities. These future leaders are taking action with ACS CAN by joining us at our National Leadership Summit and Lobby day, state lobby days and working with volunteer ambassador state teams throughout the country. ACS CAN is also working with other organizations, including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. to help reach communities that represent diverse populations impacted by cancer. 


It’s my pleasure to welcome NBJC to the ACS CAN family. Through this and our other partnerships, we can reach more communities and help save more lives from cancer.