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Prostate Cancer Awareness Month marked at Halifax CC with leadership forum

Halifax Community College (HCC) recognized the month of September as Prostate Cancer Awareness month by holding an informational forum, Sept. 21. William S. Robinson, founder of the Black Men’s Health Initiative, spoke on issues concerning men’s health during the session. The event was sponsored by the PRIDE of Halifax Male Mentoring program and was the kickoff of the Griffin Leadership series.


“Prostate cancer is the second leading cancer killer of men, especially black men. The rates of prostate cancer between North Carolina and South Carolina are the worst in the world. Not just the country, but in the entire world,” said Robinson.


“I’ve always had a historic interest in what killed the men in my extended family,” explained Robinson. “There’s no real focus on black men’s health. When I started looking at this 10 years ago, there was no focus on men’s health at all, and especially black men’s health. I wanted to do something about that. I wanted to create some programs that would be models and could be replicated across the country so we could begin to discuss this issue of black men’s health,” he said. Actually, the most comprehensive health care for black men in the country is provided in prisons. “I wanted to change that.”


He added, “If someone were doing something to our community externally, we would be outraged. Many of the ailments that we have as black men, we reap for ourselves…I just want to remind you that the way we treat ourselves nowadays is worse than the worst historic times in this country’s history.”


Robinson operates his own consultant company, William S. Robinson & Associates, which focuses on capacity building, infrastructure development and addressing health issues in African-American and other ethnic communities. From 1999-2002, Robinson served as the South Carolina state coordinator for the national Black Leadership Initiative on Cancer and developed the Brothers Against Prostate Cancer Awareness Program (BAP CapsTM), which is a unique prostate education program run through barber shops. In 2005, he chartered the Black Men’s Health Initiative, a non-profit organization that is focusing on improving the health of black men in 10 states in the southeast region of the country.


For information on the Black Men’s Health Initiative, visit  http://www.bmhi.org/.


 William S. Robinson


William S. Robinson, founder of the Black Men’s Health Initiative