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Southern Alliance:
Addressing COVID-19 among Non-Hispanic Blacks and/or African Americans Living in Southeast Region of United States

The purpose of this project is to build the capacity of community-based organizations engaging in mobilizing African American communities at high risk for COVID-19 morbidity and mortality to adopt and sustain COVID-19 preventative and community mitigation strategies including, but not limited to, improving chronic disease management, COVID-19 testing, facilitating contact tracing, promoting face covering and social distancing and identifying mental health issues associated with COVID-19.

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Renaissance Connection’s Involvement with the Southern Alliance

Quash COVID 2.0 Initiative

Renaissance Connection (RC), an organization that regularly held well-attended arts and cultural events, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, will leverage its relationships and reputation as a community organization to deliver a culturally relevant COVID-19 risk reduction campaign. RC will collaborate with media outlets to create messaging that will:

 

  • Address community concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine

  • Combat misinformation and provide accurate and timely information  

  • Encourage vaccine participation

RC is also collaborating with community entities to provide children’s/adult masks and individual bottles of hand sanitizer.  The “Mask-Up” campaign entails the distribution of masks and sanitizers, free of charge, will take place within the predominantly African American communities situated in the zip codes 31701 and 31705.  These communities have been prioritized due to the high levels of disparities in social determinants, health, and wealth.

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"Funding for this project was made possible in part from the CDC Cooperative Agreement number 6 NU38OT000288-04-02 CFDA 93.421, via a sub-award from the CDC Foundation. The views expressed in written materials, media or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the CDC and the CDC Foundation; nor does mention by trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the CDC Foundation or the U.S. Government."

The community members are largely plagued with the highest rates of comorbidities, infant mortality, poverty, and unemployment/underemployment.  These communities experienced the highest number of deaths within the city, during the COVID-19 Alpha wave.  

 

The initiative includes the following activities:

 

  • Creation of a COVID-19 educational messaging health campaign that encourages vaccine participation, combats misinformation, and provides accurate and timely information about the virus and the vaccines, including virtual community forums.

  • Provision/Distribution of PPE through three community partner locations for children and adult masks and individual bottles of hand sanitizer to reinforce best behavioral practices for decreasing community spread of COVID-19. 

  • Development and support of partnerships between local organizations, agencies, and leaders to provide accurate and updated information, understand needs, and influence the health of local African American and non-Hispanic communities.