Non-profit led by MVSU alumna to bring cancer center to Mississippi Delta

October 28, 2019

ITTA BENA, Miss.—An organization founded and led by an alumna of Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) has announced plans to bring a state-of-the-art cancer resource center to the Mississippi Delta. 

The Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation (FLHCF) will host a Groundbreaking Ceremony, commemorating the beginning of Phase I for the construction of its 10,000-square-foot headquarters, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019.

The Ruleville-based non-profit was founded by Freddie White-Johnson, a 1982 graduate of MVSU. Named in honor of the civil rights activist who passed away from untreated breast cancer, FLHCF is dedicated to the eradication of cancer in Mississippi, specifically the Mississippi Delta, through education, support services, research, and advocacy.

The ceremony is set for 10 a.m. at the Ruleville Community House, located at 114 Church St. in Ruleville. The theme of the event is, “We Walk by Faith, Not by Sight.” The public is welcomed to attend.

“The groundbreaking ceremony for the Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation’s headquarters is a testament to all that we are sincere and dedicated to our mission of eradicating cancer in the Mississippi Delta and beyond,” said White-Johnson. “It’s been a long journey, but we’re proud of the support we’ve received from the community and across the nation thus far.”

According to White-Johnson, the center was strategically selected to be situated in the heart of the Mississippi Delta—one of the poorest regions in the state, as well as one of the most medically underserved areas in the nation.

Since 2012, the FLHCF has provided more than 5,000 underserved women with free mammograms and Pap tests. Of those women tested, 79 received a positive breast cancer diagnosis. 

In addition, the organization has provided more than 1,200 men with prostate cancer screenings. 

“The construction to the headquarters will allow us to reach and assist more clients as well as provide space to effectively support and expand our programs,” White-Johnson said. “The Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation has had a profound impact in the state of Mississippi, and we’re one of the few organizations in the Mississippi Delta providing extensive literature and preventative cancer screenings to unserved and underserved populations.”

The total project is estimated to cost about $2.5 million, and the construction process will be completed in phases, with Phase I including the laying of pipes and concrete for the building and the parking lot.

The organization is now actively fundraising and seeking funding to help support Phase II, the construction of the facility.

“The Center will serve as a long-lasting memorial to Mrs. Hamer, who died from untreated breast cancer,” said White-Johnson. 

“Our commitment and efforts are fueled by a desire to reduce the possibility of cancer similarly claiming the lives of other victims,” she added.

White-Johnson received a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Social Work at MVSU. She continued on to earn a master’s degree from Jackson State University in Public Policy and Administration with a minor in Community and Economic Development. 

White-Johnson is a 2015 graduate of the Delta Leadership Institute, Delta Leadership Academy. 

To RSVP for the FLHCF Groundbreaking Ceremony, text (662) 392-5458 or e-mail

To learn more or to support the work of the FLHCF, visit