Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the Connecticut Department of Public Health is partnering with the Connecticut chapters of nine historically African American, Greek-lettered fraternities and sororities to further combat COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and increase access to the vaccine within the state’s Black and Brown communities.
The partnership stems from the Department of Public Health’s Trusted Messenger Forum program, which works to train and provide trusted community leaders with messaging toolkits and methods to combat myths and misinformation with factual and scientific information about the COVID-19 vaccines. As a result of this partnership, the nine historically African American fraternities and sororities will be holding a series of free town hall events that will include discussions with well-known doctors, clinicians, and public servants who are members of each of the nine sororities and fraternizes and serve as trusted messengers on the vaccines.
“Our administration is determined to reach out to every single person we can, particularly those within communities that have historically been medically underserved, so that we can increase access to this lifesaving vaccine and provide factual information that dispels myths,” Governor Lamont said. “This partnership is about stepping up to help our communities understand the vaccine, and provide a direct connection to medical experts who can build trust in our health care system. I’m particularly appreciative of the Connecticut chapters of these nine fraternities and sororities for standing up, taking leadership, and doing what is right for their members and allies.”
“The Black community has been hit hard by COVID-19, and the vaccine is proving to be one of the most effective tools we have against it,” Connecticut Public Health Acting Commissioner Dr. Deidre Gifford said. “At the Department of Public Health, we are pleased to be working with community leaders like the nine historically African American fraternities and sororities to make sure everyone has factual, accurate information so that they can decide whether to get the vaccine. We worked with these fraternities and sororities through our Trusted Messenger Forums and are very excited that they will be spreading the word to Connecticut’s Black communities about the vaccines and nearby vaccine clinics with their upcoming public forums.”
The fraternities and sororities partnering in this initiative include: Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Delta Sigma Theta, Phi Beta Sigma, Zeta Phi Beta, Sigma Gamma Rho and Iota Phi Theta. These organizations, most of which have been in in existence for over 100 years, share the common goal to promote civic and social change through scholarship, advocacy and community service. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Epsilon Omicron Omega Chapter has taken the lead in this effort to move this initiative forward in Connecticut.
“Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc, Epsilon Omicron Omega Chapter has been serving the Greater Hartford area for 71 years, and is the sororities’ first graduate chapter in Connecticut,” Josie Wright, President AKA Inc, Epsilon Omicron Omega Chapter, said. “This year, Alpha Kappa Alpha is answering the call by leading this initiative to form an expert panel of medical professionals with members from each of the nine sororities and fraternities. This panel is designed to share factual information and dismantle concerns surrounding the COVID Vaccine within the communities we serve.”
The schedule of the virtual town hall events is as follows:
- Kick-off town hall panel: Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 7:00-8:30PM (Join the Webinar Meeting ID: 841 4616 0120 Passcode: 678815)
- Community town hall event: Wednesday, May 19, 2021, 6:30-8:00PM (Join the Webinar Meeting ID: 841 4616 0120 Passcode: 678815)
- Community town hall event: Thursday, June 3, 2021, 6:30-8:00PM (Join the Webinar Meeting ID: 841 4616 0120 Passcode: 678815)
- Community town hall event: Tuesday, June 15, 2021, 6:30-8:00PM (Join the Webinar Meeting ID: 841 4616 0120 Passcode: 678815)