Virtual listening, information sessions being held to address racial disparities in COVID-19

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 5:57 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2021 at 6:06 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - An ongoing effort to get Savannah’s Black and Hispanic communities vaccinated continues Monday with a unique event.

Through virtual listening and information sessions, organizers want to create a safe place for people to share why they have chosen to not receive the vaccine, particularly people in Savannah’s Black and Hispanic communities.

The project is a partnership with Healthy Savannah and the YMCA of Coastal Georgia, funded through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Through word of mouth, the campaign hopes to build trust among these groups to eventually lead to vaccinations and knowing how to protect themselves during the pandemic. This is just one more step the group has taken in their effort to give those communities access, awareness, and understanding of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I think a lot of organizations are frustrated because they have offered the vaccine and some people haven’t taken it. We believe that’s because lots of communities have not been listened to and have been overlooked. We want to sit down and chat with folks to be sure as many people as we know can be heard,” said Nichele Hoskins, Communications Manager COVID Grant.

The information gathered during these sessions will go towards the training of 65 community advocates working to inform people in their neighborhoods about the vaccine and COVID-19 in general. They will be paid a stipend of $500 and will begin their training next month.

Information and listening sessions will be held monthly to provide details, along with a platform for questions and discussion. The first session will start at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 27. To register, apply to become a community advocate, or to learn more, click here or email


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