The University of Illinois Cancer Center is honored to be recognized by our community partner Equal Hope at the organization’s 2024 Celebrating Life Gala on June 20.

The Cancer Center will be recognized as “Healthcare Champion for Health Equity” and Cancer Center Associate Director for Community Outreach and Engagement Yamile Molina, PhD, will be recognized as the “Individual Champion for Health Equity.”

“Together, the University of Illinois Cancer Center and Dr. Molina have been instrumental in addressing disparities in health outcomes across Chicago. As Equal Hope looks to the future, our partnership with the Cancer Center and the guidance of Dr. Molina are essential as we leverage the success of Equal Hope’s unique platform to drive systemic changes that enable Chicago’s residents to live their healthiest lives possible,” Equal Hope said in its announcement of the gala.

Equal Hope + Cancer Center

Just like the Cancer Center, Equal Hope has always been committed to eliminating racial disparities in cancer. The nonprofit organization was founded in 2008 as the Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force after published research illustrated how racial disparities in breast cancer deaths plagued the city. In the 16 years since, Equal Hope’s tireless work to save lives by eliminating health inequities has continued and expanded with the Cancer Center, the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) and UI Health by its side.

The organization now navigates women to breast and cervical cancer screenings and care; connects people to vaccination sites so they are protected against HPV and COVID-19; provides robust community outreach and education; and, most recently, is working with the Cancer Center to create awareness and understanding of research clinical trials so diverse populations have knowledge of and equitable access to new cancer treatments.

Equal Hope also was among the inaugural recipients of a Hope Leaders award, a Cancer Center program dedicated to building bidirectional relationships between scientists and community organizations.

Equal Hope, and its Executive Director Paris Thomas, PhD, are vital partners of the Cancer Center with deep involvement in and support for our intersecting efforts to erase cancer disparities.

The “Celebrating Life Gala” will be held at the Geraghty, 2520 South Hoyne Avenue, in Chicago on June 20. If you would like to attend, please visit the Equal Hope gala event website.

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