"It's widely acknowledged that communities of color throughout the nation suffer disproportionately from higher cancer rates," U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, said in a statement.
"I am pleased that the University of California, Berkeley has been selected to work closely with community groups in the East Bay to find ways to reduce cancer disparities," Lee said.
The National Cancer Institute gave UC Berkeley $788,830 to fund the first year of operations at a new Community Networks Program Center, intended to be a place where academic institutions, community organizations and health care providers can work together, according to Lee's office.
Joan Bloom, a professor of health policy and management at the university's School of Public Health who is one of the project's principal investigators, said the community groups involved will include faith-based organizations such as mosques and African-American churches.
"What's unique about this initiative is that it is one of the first to focus on and work with Afghan immigrant women," Bloom said in a statement.
The grant is part of the cancer institute's Community Networks Program National and Regional Centers for Reducing Cancer Disparities Initiative.
The $117 million initiative aims to create up to 23 similar centers throughout the country.