Environmental Justice and Cancer Health Equity

ASPO Pre-Conference Workshop

This pre-conference workshop will provide opportunities for bidirectional dialogue between cancer researchers and local decision-makers involved in achieving health equity through addressing environmental injustices. The workshop will include lightning round presentations by cancer researchers and local decision-makers, a tour of a case study in environmental injustice and cancer disparities, and open discussions regarding best practices, lessons learned, and future directions for research, practice, and policy.

Registration is now closed. We will see you Friday morning!



photo of Yamile Molina

Yamile Molina, MS, MPH, PhD, is Associate Director for Community Outreach and Engagement at the University of Illinois Cancer Center, Associate Director for Community Engaged Research at UI Health Mile Square Health Center, and an Associate Professor in the Division of Community Health Sciences at the University of Illinois Chicago School of Public Health.

Logo of the University of Illinois Cancer Center

Orientation and Driving Tour – 8 – 11:30 a.m.

8 – 8:30 a.m.

Orientation and Overview with Scientists at Swissôtel

8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

Travel to Proviso Township

9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Driving Tour of Proviso Township 

Lunch and Learn – 11:30 a.m. – 1:10 p.m.

11:30 – 11:45 a.m.


11:45 – 11:50 a.m.

Welcome and Introduction

Julia Willis, MSW, MBA, serves as the Dean of Students at Triton College where she oversees the Counseling and Wellness Center, Student Life and Supportive programs for students to succeed on campus. She has spent the last 24 years working in both secondary, workforce development and higher education in student affairs and student success leadership roles.

In addition to her role at Triton College, Julia extends her influence as the co-coordinator for the Chicago-West Suburbs NSBE Junior Chapter. In this capacity, she organizes workshops, seminars, guest speaker events, national college tours, and academic level gaining initiatives. Through her involvement in STEAM programming, college entrance guidance, placement assistance, and multicultural affairs, Julia has engaged and positively impacted thousands of students.

11:50 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.

Local Leaders’ Initiatives Panel Discussion

President Vicki Scaman was elected Village President of the Village of Oak Park in April 2021 after serving as the elected Village Clerk for four years. Prior to running for office in her community, she held a position with the Oak Park Township facilitating a grant through the Illinois Department of Human Services for positive youth development, served as Chair of the Liquor Control Review Board, and co-chair of the Law Review Committee for the Village of Oak Park. As Village President, Vicki excels at building cross-community and intergovernmental partnerships to secure resources and advance Oak Park’s racial and environmentally just goals for a more affordable, equitable and sustainable future. Vicki is a founding Mayor and member of the executive leadership team for Cross Community Climate Collaborative (C4).

Photo of Mayor Nathaniel Booker

Mayor Nathaniel G. Booker, serves as the Village President for the Village of Maywood, on a national level he also serves on the National League of Cities (NLC) Board of Directors, representing more than 19,000 villages, cities, and towns across the nation. He is also 2nd Vice President for National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO). Within the State of Illinois, Booker is the President of Illinois Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (IBC-LEO) along with being on Illinois Municipal League (IML) Revenue & Taxation and Public Works & Transportation Committees. With a focus on Metropolitan Chicago, He is a council member with the Metropolitan Mayor’s Caucus (MMC) for the Aging Friendly Communities as well as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committees and West Central Municipal Conference – Illinois Legislative Committee.

12:10 – 1:10 p.m.

National Scientist Stakeholders’ Panel Discussion

Kilan C. Ashad-Bishop, PhD, is a biomedical scientist and advocate for inclusion working at the intersection of science, health, and society. She is a Principal Scientist of Cancer Risk Factors and Screening Research at the American Cancer Society.

Photo of Lu Zhang

Lu Zhang, PhD, is an assistant professor at Department of Public Health Sciences, Clemson University.  She is a cancer epidemiologist and interested in health disparities in cancer control continuum.

Samantha Ammons Photo

Samantha Ammons is a Ph.D. candidate in Environmental Health at George Washington University Milken School of Public Health and research fellow at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). At NCI, Samantha works on projects evaluating the relationship between environmental exposures in drinking water and air pollution and cancer risk, under the mentorship of Rena Jones, Ph.D., M.S.

NCI Logo

Jinhui (Claire) Li photo

Jinhui (Claire) Li, MD, PhD, is a postdoctoral scholar at the Stanford University School of Medicine, focusing on environmental and cancer epidemiology research within the Department of Urology and Department of Epidemiology and Population Health.

Natalie Snider, is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Cancer Biology Graduate Program at Wayne State University studying the molecular epidemiology of colorectal cancer racial disparities. Upon completing her Ph.D., she plans to pursue a career in science policy by applying emerging research to improve cancer public health outcomes among all populations.


Lauren Giurini Photo

Lauren Giurini is a graduate student in Epidemiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who is broadly interested in health disparities, and the accessibility and quality of preventative health care. Her current work looks at the association between neighborhood socioeconomic status and colorectal cancer screening rates.

University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Medicine and Public Health logo

1:10 – 1:35 p.m.

Travel and Discussion

1:35 – 2:25 p.m.

Tour of Community Recreation Center in Oak Park


Mar 15 2024


8:00 am - 2:25 pm


University of Illinois Cancer Center
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