Coalition encourages minorities to get vaccinated against COVID-19

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Wave Staff Report

LOS ANGELES — Continuing efforts to proactively address inequity in COVID-19 vaccine distribution and eliminate barriers to reaching the city’s most vulnerable populations, the Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE) has formed a coalition of strategists and community leaders to launch a vaccination awareness and acceptance campaign aimed at reaching Los Angeles’s hardest hit communities, including Latino, Black and Asian American and Pacific Islander populations.

The initiative, It’s Time Los Angeles, is a multiplatform campaign built by L.A.-based multicultural marketing firm AEM that aims to increase the rate of vaccinations for the city’s most vulnerable and hard-to-reach communities.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been working in close partnership with the city of Los Angeles and [the Los Angeles Fire Department] to protect Angelenos from the devastating impact of COVID-19,” said CORE co-Founder and CEO Ann Lee. “Our teams come from and work alongside diverse communities across L.A. to provide them with the relief they need through trust and breaking down cultural and language barriers, as well as technology and transportation roadblocks.

“Our priority is the equitable distribution of vaccines, and the most significant obstacle is often information,” Lee added. “Breaking down this barrier requires working within existing community infrastructure and trusted leaders — and that’s exactly what we’ve set out to achieve. We are excited to rally this robust alliance of community experts to lead the charge of this collaborative and inclusive initiative.”

The integrated campaign includes a public service announcement, digital/social media, microsite, public relations and community outreach. The campaign will reach diverse communities and include information in languages including English, Spanish, Mandarin, Korean and Vietnamese.

“As eligibility opens up in California, it’s incumbent upon CORE to bridge the gap of access by increasing awareness among the most vulnerable,” Lee said. “This will allow community members to make an informed decision for themselves about receiving the vaccine.”

CORE and AEM have assembled a coalition of highly visible and respected multicultural leaders and community-based organizations to educate people on the urgency to be vaccinated through online and grassroots channels.

“We are a group of strategists that came together on behalf of the communities we serve,” said AEM Founder and President Ivette Rodriguez. “We represent the majority minority and given how much our communities have suffered, we believe a better and stronger L.A. will require strength, unity and coalition building.”

Immigrants, especially the elderly, Spanish-speaking, indigenous communities, and the recently arrived, have faced many challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, including limited access to prevention education, health care, relief and the vaccine,” said Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Imigration Rights. “This is why it is time for all to join hands and ensure every family member, friend, co-worker and neighbor in this great city of Los Angeles is accurately informed, receives prompt health care if sick, and gets the vaccine because we know doing so saves lives.”