The NAACP Health Initiative is partnering with the Indiana Commission on the Status of African-American Males and Indianapolis Black Expo to celebrate Reggie Jones Sr., a longtime community activist battling prostate cancer. The event also will feature the Charles Williams Prostate Van for free prostate screening exams.
There will be a brunch, live jazz music and food. The purpose of the event is to show the community’s support for Jones and raise awareness among Black men about the risk of prostate cancer. The prostate cancer rate for Black men is nearly twice that of white men, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Jones served on the race relations board in the 1970s for three Indianapolis mayors and was the first African-American director of the Indianapolis Skills Center, which trains unemployed and underemployed people. In the 1980s Jones was on the board of Community Action against Poverty, and he was a delegate for the state of Indiana at the National Conference on Saving the Black Family, an initiative started by then-President Jimmy Carter. He also consulted with Perry Meridian High School and Southport High School on desegregation issues.
Garry Holland, interim education chair at the NAACP, said he’s been friends with Jones since the early 1980s when they were both part of a study group that looked at the significance of African people globally.
“It means a lot to see a person being celebrated for their accomplishments and the way they’ve lived their life with prostate cancer,” Holland said.
Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.