Anissa Vines is a professor in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and a CCP small grant recipient working in Caswell County.
Regarding the group of Ambassadors, members emphasized the importance of including women, young adults, and members of the church who may not currently serve in a church leadership role but wish to increase their capacity in reaching others. The steering committee pointed out that within the church you have individuals who prefer to be led and guided by key leaders in the church. However, these individuals may have untapped skills and talents conducive to the role of an Ambassador, which is to be a change agent in increasing the community’s awareness about prostate cancer. Hence, the pool of Ambassadors should include individuals with various characteristics and qualities.
Following the steering committee meeting, project staff began the recruitment process for Ambassadors by talking to church pastors and church members about promoting the project within their church. A staff member had the opportunity to talk with one pastor who expressed his appreciation of the initiative and was glad to see that something was being done to generate greater awareness about prostate cancer in the county. Many others were excited about getting information to their congregation. Churches affiliated with the Cedar Grove Baptist Association in Caswell County received an information packet to share with their congregation, which included flyers and applications. The project includes an application process for individuals interested in serving as Ambassadors.
Although still in the initial phase, this project has afforded faculty and staff the opportunity to strengthen relationships, begin building new ones, and connect with individuals in the Caswell community that have a passion for improving health, especially around issues like prostate cancer from which African American men tend to suffer disproportionately.