In May 2000, with funding from the SC Division of the American Cancer Society (ACS), William S. Robinson, then State Coordinator of SC NBLIC (SC National Black Leadership Initiative on Cancer), piloted a 12-month prostate prevention education campaign entitled, B.A.P. Caps™ - Brothers Against Prostate - Cancer Awareness Program. The project was facilitated through barbershops in counties with the highest prevalence of prostate cancer for African American men, and was coordinated by BMHI volunteers.
The project features a baseball cap with an ethnic "B.A.P." logo (red, black and green), and the dissemination of educational materials on the prostate, healthy eating, and cancer amongst African Americans. Barbers are trained at 'Lunch & Learn' sessions in counties with high rates of prostate cancer/issues for Black men.
Each barber discusses prostate risks with their patrons and give away a free cap and set of materials if the men agreed to wear the cap and read the information. Participants are tracked via a simple data sheet that remains at the barber shops until BMHI is called to re-supply barbers.
The BAP Caps™ program worked with more than 50 barbers across South Carolina and educated nearly 30,000 individuals through barbershops and an estimated 400,000 additional persons through health fairs, conventions, churches and community presentations.
The BAP Caps™ program was initiated in NC in late 2007. Since that time it has engaged barbers in Asheville, Yancyville, Garysburg, Elizabeth City, Durham and Williamston, with plans to continue expansion to Sanford, Chatham County, and Wilmington during 2009.
The Black Men's Health Initiative now facilitates the B.A.P. Caps™ program to:
- Be a major player in reducing prostate cancer and other health disparities amongst Black men;
- Replicate the B.A.P. Caps™ program in other states in the Southeastern U.S: and
- Further expand the capacity of BHMI by identifying persons in each of the target state(s) to assist the prostate cancer prevention using the B.A.P. Caps™ model;
CDC Prostate Decision Guide for African Americans