Wisconsin is closing in on an important milestone in the fight against COVID-19 with nearly half of all state residents receiving at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. There are stark differences, however, as to who is getting the vaccine in Wisconsin, with individuals in communities of color lagging far behind white Wisconsinites. Just under one in three Hispanics and only one in four African-Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This vaccine gap is of concern because Hispanics have 1.7 times greater case rates of COVID-19 and African-Americans have 2.1 times greater hospitalization rates. Native Americans have 1.5 times greater death rates from the COVID-19.
The Milwaukee Urban League is launching a new program to inform, encourage, and identify the need for communities of color to consider the COVID-19 vaccine. Working with 20 Milwaukee-area partners, as well as our national partners – National Urban League, National Action Network, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – the ALL !N campaign shares information about the COVID-19 vaccine and encourages community members to take thoughtful consideration about receiving the vaccine. Milwaukee Urban League is just one of the 25 Urban League affiliates around the country selected to participate in the ALL !N campaign.
A poll commissioned by the National Urban League and The Alliance of National Psychological Associations for Racial and Ethnic Equity found 30 percent of African Americans said they do not want to be vaccinated. Working with local partners, the ALL !N campaign will share information with Milwaukee-area residents so they can make their best personal choice concerning the vaccine. With only 60 percent of Black-owned businesses expected to survive the pandemic, the ALL !N campaign will also shed broader light on how vaccination can serve as a remedy to help Milwaukee rebound from the devastating economic impact of the virus on communities of color.
The initiative was created to remind African Americans that collective solutions have served the best interest of our community in the past when seeking substantial change. The ALL !N campaign is a call to action for community members to consider the vaccine and to turn to trusted sources – such as Milwaukee Urban League and our partners – for accurate information. The campaign will work to provide facts against misinformation surrounding the vaccine and its distribution process, reject the false notion of intentionally harmful agents in the vaccine, and to insure accessibility of the vaccine for people of color.
The campaign will run through the end of 2021 and will include important COVID-19 updates and flu season awareness information in the fall. For more information about the ALL !N campaign or to join us, contact Milwaukee Urban League today.
Dr. Eve M. Hall is the President and CEO of Milwaukee Urban League
More about WTMJ Guest Op-Eds: WTMJ Radio has always prided itself as a hub for news/talk/sports commentary. For nearly a century on WTMJ, local leaders, professional athletes, Wisconsin residents, lawmakers, listeners, and others have provided essential conversation on a variety of topics and local issues. That’s why we’re excited about our latest initiative, WTMJ Guest Op-Eds. It’s our hope that by offering the WTMJ digital platform to a variety of critical thinkers, we will provide more ideas and dialogue in order to move the conversation forward on several local initiatives. Views expressed in these columns are not those of WTMJ Radio or Good Karma Brands. Click to see more WTMJ Guest Op-Eds.
If you’re interested in becoming a WTMJ Op-Ed Guest columnist, and would like to be considered, email us here: [email protected]