Town Hall Meeting to Discuss COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Among Persons of Color

Featured speakers to correct misinformation about vaccines

Despite the decline of COVID-19 cases in some parts of California, organizations throughout the state continue to work diligently to increase vaccination rates in communities with high rates of COVID-19 transmission and low vaccination rates.

Current California Department of Public Health data indicates that a significant number of Latinos and African Americans still need to be vaccinated, with Latinos comprising the highest number of cases and deaths in California.

The California Association of African American Superintendents and Administrators (CAAASA) has partnered with the San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) to host vaccine clinics at schools within the area.

As part of the campaign, CAAASA will hold an in-person town-hall style meeting on Wednesday, March 9, from 6:00 p.m. to 8 00 p.m. at the Board of Education Building (Board Community Room), 777 North F Street, San Bernardino 92401. The town-hall will also be live streamed on the SBCUSD YouTube channel.

 The featured speakers will be Lillie Tyson Head, daughter of Freddie Lee Tyson, a United States Public Health Service Syphilis Study Victim at Tuskegee and Macon County, Alabama and President, Voices For Our Fathers Legacy Foundation; Eric Patterson, study victim descendant; Brenda Ross, MD, Assistant Professor, Maternal & Fetal Medicine, UC Riverside; Doc Ervin, Superintendent, San Bernardino City Unified School District; and Dr. Joshua Beckley, Senior Pastor, Ecclesia Christian Fellowship. 

Tyson Head has been delivering her message around the country, correcting some of the misinformation about the so-called Tuskegee study and said, “It is unfortunate that, because of the United States Public Health Service Syphilis Study (known as the Tuskegee Syphilis Study), African Americans continue to have limited trust in vaccines and their benefits. We must take this disease seriously, do whatever we can to increase vaccine awareness and share the message that ‘by taking the vaccine, we are also taking a positive step toward decreasing the spread of COVID-19 within the overall community.’ “

“We are honored to be part of the team helping to increase awareness and decrease vaccine hesitancy, Al Bonds, CAAASA campaign manager. “The health of each person impacts all of us. By protecting themselves, individuals are better equipped to protect family members, friends, social circles, and the community at large.

The campaign is funded by a grant from Sierra Health Foundation and hopes to attract persons in zip codes with poor vaccination rates, who, for whatever reason, have not accessed the free vaccinations and related services. The campaign includes media announcements, and person-to-person outreach in neighborhoods, community centers and churches.

What: In-Person Town Hall to Address COVID-19 Vaccines in Communities of Color

When: Wednesday, March 9, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Where: Board of Education Building (Board Community Room), 777 North F Street, San Bernardino 92401.

The town-hall will also be live streamed on the SBCUSD YouTube channel.

In addition to a free vaccination clinic on Saturday, March 12 at George Brown Elementary School, 2525 North G Street, San Bernardino, clinics are also available in Riverside and Moreno Valley. They can be found at www.caaasa.org. Registration is available; however, walk-ups are also accepted.

For More Information Contact: Vicki Phillips (213) 700-6569 OR viphilli@sbcglobal.net

Founded in 1993, CAAASA is a 501c3, education equity and advocacy organization that works through collaboration, network-building and direct community engagement to promote the success of African American, Latinx and other underserved California K-12 public school students and families. CAAASA’s members include school superintendents, administrators, teachers and other educational professionals from throughout California.

Although its primary focus is education, CAAASA has been at the forefront of numerous issues impacting the health of the African American community.

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