Virginia Tech® home


Blacks in Virginia: Issues and Trends

  • Education
  • Economics
  • Health and Medical Care
  • Criminal Justice
  • Juvenile Justice


Labor Market Discrimination

Lead Poisoning and Violence

Racial Differentials in Juvenile Court Processing

Date, Time, and Place:


January 14, 2017 at Cross Pointe Conference Center

Montgomery County Dialogue on Race: A Call to Action (RSP in collaboration with other community organizations and agencies)

August 17, 2016 at Episcopal Diocese, Roanoke VA 


Workshop on Racial Reconciliation (Wornie Reed and Penny Franklin) 



January 16, 2016 at Cross Pointe Conference Center

Montgomery County Dialogue on Race (RSP in collaboration with other community organizations and agencies)

The Urban Cancer Project: A Culturally-Specific Solution to Race and Ethnic Cancer Disparities

(Wornie Reed, PhD., Kay Colby, B.A., and Ronnie Dunn, Ph.D.)

The Urban Cancer Project is a video-based approach to addressing African American and Hispanic cancer disparities. It was developed through collaborations with a video-production company, Public Health Television, Inc., and the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University.

Methodology: We conducted 44 focus group sessions with residents of Cleveland's public housing community to better understand barriers that discourage low-income African Americans from getting screened for cancer, adhering to treatment, or participating in clinical trials.  Transcripts of these sessions were analyzed to produce culturally relevant video messages, which then aired on local television.  With this approach we also produced a video for cultural competence training of physicians who treat cancer, and another video for African American patients, their families and community to help them better understand the importance of cancer research and participation in clinical trials.

Results: Each set of videos was tested and shown to be effective in influencing behavior as well as attitudes.  We won two Regional Emmys for the television messages, which increased requests for screening at selected neighborhood health centers.    The clinical trials video had positive effects in the quasi-experimental field test and in an experimental clinical trials test.  In a test of adults over 40 who were not cancer patients there was a 19.3 percentage point increase in persons expressing willingness to participate in a clinical trial if they heard a physician and saw the video versus a 4.1 percentage point increase among those who only heard the physician talk about clinical trials.  In the clinical trials test among cancer patients, more than 50 percent of the patients seeing the video said that it helped them in deciding to participate in a clinical trial.  Eighty (80) percent of cancer physicians seeing the cultural competence video indicated that it contained information helpful or very helpful to their practice.

Implications:  Cultural orientations are inhibitors to the patient-physician encounter, and they can be reduced with this approach.