Shakir Cannon

New York

Shakir Cannon is a Civic Health Leader and Co-Founder of the Minority Coalition for Precision Medicine (MCPM), an emerging organization dedicated to the disbursement of health information literacy through a parallel education and awareness strategy performed within minority populated regions as determined by US Census data. Shakir is also an internationally recognized Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) patient and advocates who helps educate & spread awareness for SCD both as a public speaker and social media thought leader. Throughout his lifelong battle with the often debilitating and at times devastating disease, Shakir learned how crucial it is to remain educated and informed of the ever-evolving healthcare system. When President Obama released the Precision Medicine Initiative in 2015, Shakir became fascinated about learning about this exciting opportunity to, as put by the former President, “accelerate the process of discovering cures in ways that we’ve never seen before”. In November 2015, Shakir along with his business partner, Michael Friend, hosted a two-day event in Baltimore Maryland entitled “Sickle Cell Disease and Precision Medicine” to highlight sickle cell disease as one of our nation’s biggest health disparities while also beginning discussions on how future precision medicine practices could potentially provide much-needed hope for those who suffer from the inherited biomolecular illness. Representatives from the many governing health agencies were present, including Dr. Jo Handelsman the then Associate Director of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, who provided the Keynote Speech for this rather historic event. Shortly thereafter Shakir was invited to The White House for the Precision Medicine Summit of 2016 as the Minority Coalition for Precision Medicine was listed on The White House fact sheet for their community outreach, along with their sister organization, The Health Ministries Network (HMN), and collaborators The BioCollective. Shakir truly believes that through genomic medicine and upcoming genetic technologies, hereditary illnesses like sickle cell disease will one day be more effectively treated if not cured. Shakir’s lifelong mission is to achieve health equity for ethnically diverse populations throughout the United States.