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ACS receives NBA Foundation grant in support of Center for Diversity in Cancer Research

Students in 21 NBA markets will benefit from the investment in training and support.​

The American Cancer Society Center for Diversity in Cancer Research Training received an NBA Foundation grant to support programming for 300 underrepresented high school, college, and post-Baccalaureate students interested in oncology and cancer research in 21 NBA markets. 

The Center was created in 2023 to increase diversity and inclusion in the cancer workforce by providing training and support to students that are underrepresented in science and health professions. The collective percentage of Black, Hispanic, and American Indian and Alaska Native people in biomedical careers is the lowest among racial and ethnic groups, and less than 2% of National Institute of Health cancer research grants come from African American or Black researchers. An inclusive research community more effectively addresses cancer disparities, invigorates problem-solving, drives innovation, and accelerates our mission to improve the lives of people with cancer and their families. 

The NBA Foundation’s mission is to drive economic opportunity in the Black community through employment and career development by funding programs that generate successful transitions from school to meaningful employment for Black youth. With a focus on 18 to 24 year old Black youth at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), the Foundation’s funding will support building a pipeline of talented, diverse scientists through the Center's three key initiatives: the Summer Health Experience (SHE), the Diversity in Cancer Research (DICR) Internship Program and the Post-Baccalaureate (Post-Bac) Fellows Program, a two-year paid certificate program that provides mentored research projects, advanced science coursework, and comprehensive advisory services for Bachelor-level students aiming to pursue doctoral or medical degrees. 

“The NBA Foundation’s support in our common goal of providing pathways to expand opportunities in historically excluded communities and ultimately, achieve more diversity in fields that need new voices is important in our work to end cancer as we know it for everyone,” said our Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Bill Dahut. “Our center is focused on empowering these young voices and equipping them with the support they need to significantly contribute to improving inequities in cancer prevention, treatment and care.”    

NBA Cares, the league’s global social responsibility program, has also supported the center’s students in Atlanta, GA, and Los Angeles, CA. American fashion designer and founder of the lifestyle brand WARAIRE, Waraire Boswell worked with NBA Cares to donate limited-edition NBA jackets to DICR students at Morehouse School of Medicine (pictured at right), Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (pictured above), and patients at our American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Jerome L. Greene Family Center in New York, NYNYC Hope Lodge. Boswell, as he’s affectionately known by his peers and clients around the NBA, has crafted a 20-year design career that boasts some of the world’s most recognizable athletes and entertainers as clientele. He is also a cancer survivor who donated the jackets as part of his journey toward amplifying the message of resilience for people who may be fighting the good fight against any form of cancer.  

Visit the ACS News Room for the official press announcement and check out ACS social media channels for more on the Waraire Boswell donation.

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