ATLANTA – Combatting vaccine hesitancy is not for the faint of heart — and now, 10 organizations across the South have the financial assistance to change the narrative within their communities.
Partnered together, the Southern Economic Advancement Project (SEAP), Fair Count, and the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) are awarding more than $30,000 to assist organizations fighting vaccine hesitancy in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and North Carolina. Additionally, Fair Count awarded microgrants to 10 organizations in Mississippi and Georgia, bringing the total funds to nearly $58,000.
These grants are a part of the organizations’ #CountMeIn initiative, which launched earlier this year to assist Black, LatinX and Native American communities facing barriers in receiving COVID information and vaccines. Through #CountMeIn, the organizations hosted several vaccination events, telephone town halls and door-to-door conversations to ensure all communities had fair access.
According to the latest Pandemic to Prosperity: South report, Black people are twice as likely as white people to be hospitalized with COVID. Although this is a decrease from the gap observed during the pandemic’s initial wave, many grant recipients express there is still work to be done.
The Bay Area Women Coalition of Alabama (BAWC) is one of the 10 recipients of the grants. The organization intends to use the funding to dispel COVID vaccine hesitancy in the African American community in South Alabama. The team plans to accomplish this by organizing and mobilizing Intergenerational Ambassadors to oversee outreach, programming and event planning.
Additionally, BAWC intends to fund an outdoor community event that will feature vaccination distribution, fresh fruit and trustworthy vaccine information.
In Mississippi, Springboard to Opportunities recently launched a vaccination campaign to help educate, engage and increase the vaccination rates of the residents they serve in low-income housing communities. The organization plans to utilize funding to bring on-site vaccination clinics to low-income housing communities.
Below is the complete list of recipients:
– Bay Area Women Coalition, Incorporated, Alabama
– Alabama Institute for Social Justice, Alabama
– Hometown Organizing project, Alabama
– Equal Ground Education Fund, Florida
– Springboard to Opportunities, Mississippi
– UNCG Center for Housing and Community Studies, North Carolina
– UCAN – United Communities’ Assistance Network, North Carolina
– Compañeros Inmigrantes de las Montañas en Acción (CIMA), North Carolina
– Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church, North Carolina
– Families First in Cabarrus County, Inc., North Carolina
About the Southern Economic Advancement Project
The Southern Economic Advancement Project (SEAP) is your partner and resource. SEAP amplifies existing organizations and networks’ efforts to broaden economic power and build a more equitable future. Broadening economic power brings attention to how race, class, and gender intersect social and economic policy in the South. SEAP explores policy ideas designed to address these connections directly. SEAP focuses on 12 Southern states and marginalized/vulnerable populations.
About Fair Count
Founded by Stacey Abrams in 2019 and anchored in Georgia, Fair Count works to build long-term power in communities that have been historically undercounted in the decennial census, underrepresented at the polls, and whose communities are often torn apart in redistricting. Learn more at faircount.org.
About Kaiser Family Foundation
Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) is a nonprofit organization focusing on national health issues, as well as the U.S. role in global health policy. KFF develops and runs policy analysis, journalism and communications programs, sometimes in partnership with major news organizations.#KFF serves as a nonpartisan source of facts, analysis and journalism for policymakers, the media, the health policy community and the public. Our product is information, always provided free of charge — from the most sophisticated policy research to basic facts and numbers, to in-depth health policy news coverage provided by our news service, KHN, to information young people can use to improve their health or the general public can use to understand health insurance.