Grammy®-winning musician will.i.am and stand-up comedian and actor George Lopez have joined Stand Up To Cancer® (SU2C) and Providence for a new series of public service announcements (PSAs) that raise awareness about colorectal cancer screenings, early detection and prevention, and focus on reaching medically underserved communities.
Also appearing in the PSA campaign is former California State Sen. Isadore Hall III. The campaign launched today and is in both English and Spanish. The PSAs featuring will.i.am and George Lopez will be placed across print, broadcast, radio, digital and out-of-home outlets. Hall will be featured in the out-of-home campaign. In the broadcast and radio PSAs, will.i.am and Lopez recite poetry written by two Los Angeles-based poets.
“So many of us have a personal connection to cancer, myself included,” said will.i.am. “The statistics don’t lie so I want to inspire others to spread the word, especially those in the Black community who need to increase participation in screening programs. Make good health, including getting screened, your top priority – do it for your husband or wife, your kids, your nieces and nephews, for everyone you love.”
“I’ve been a huge supporter of Stand Up To Cancer for many years, and I’m proud to be working with them and Providence on this important campaign,” Lopez said. “The more people who get screened, the more lives will be saved. To play even a small role in that is incredibly meaningful to me.”
The national PSA campaign supports a larger collaboration among SU2C, Providence Saint John’s Health Center and Exact Sciences to increase colorectal cancer screening rates to 80% within three Stand Up To Cancer Zones™: Greater Boston, Los Angeles and Great Plains Tribal Communities in South Dakota. These zones are regions of focus for the SU2C Colorectal Cancer Health Equity Dream Team as they include diverse and distinct communities that are medically underserved and have particularly low screening rates for colorectal cancer.
“In living our mission of outreach, we are driven to advocate in our communities of color to advance potentially life-saving colorectal cancer screenings and help erase health inequalities,” said Michael Ricks, chief executive, Providence Saint John’s Health Center located in Santa Monica. “We are so thankful to Stand Up To Cancer’s celebrity ambassadors will.i.am and George Lopez, as well as Isadore Hall III, for helping to shed light on the importance of colorectal cancer screening, which can truly save lives.”
Colorectal cancer occurs in the colon or rectum and is the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Black Americans are about 20% more likely to get colorectal cancer and about 40% more likely to die from it than most other groups. Screening rates for Americans 50-75 years old are 59% for Hispanic people, 66% for Black people and 69% for white people. Yet, screening can help detect colorectal cancer early, making it one of the most preventable types of cancer. When caught early, colon cancer is beatable in 91% of cases and rectal cancer is beatable in 90% of cases.
“This collaboration is critical to addressing the disparities and challenges of this disease. We’re incredibly grateful for Providence’s support as we work to increase screening and fund cutting-edge research to help save lives and avoid more cases of colorectal cancer,” said Russell Chew, president and CEO of Stand Up To Cancer. “We’re thrilled to have will.i.am, George Lopez and Isadore Hall III bring attention to the importance of colorectal cancer prevention to further encourage the public to be proactive about their health.”
The broadcast PSA was directed by Monty Marsh and produced by Chris Pizzi. The print campaign was produced by Pentagram Design. The poem recited by George Lopez was written by Jessica Wilson; the poem recited by will.i.am was written by Aiyana Sha’niel.