The state of California has launched two campaigns designed to engage the Black and African American community by providing information about COVID-19 vaccines and boosters and opportunities to get boosted through January 2023.
Shot of Faith returns with the Boost Up/Stay Well campaign in partnership with churches throughout Los Angeles and Inland Empire hosting COVID-19 vaccine clinics for their congregants and communities to get their updated (bivalent) booster shots. The Beauty & Barbershop initiative returns with the Boost Our Health campaign to continue to raise awareness of the importance of getting boosted to fight COVID-19.
“Shot of Faith and the Beauty & Barbershop Health Initiative have played an integral part in the state’s COVID-19 awareness campaign,” said Ashley Clark, Press Secretary at the California Office of Community Partnerships and Strategic Communication, which manages the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force. She continued, “We recognize the influence and impact churches, beauty and barber shops have within the Black and African American community and with their support, we have been able to provide significant opportunities for access to information and vaccine clinics.”
Shot of Faith was launched in May 2021 and is a statewide-multifaceted campaign including church town halls with COVID-19 updates and Q&A sessions with medical experts and vaccine clinics throughout the pandemic. The Beauty & Barbershop program launched in June 2021 provides information and tools for stylists and barbers to have candid conversations with clients and customers about COVID-19.
December marks the two-year anniversary of the COVID-19 vaccines being administered in California. Since then, California has administered over 85 million doses of the vaccine. At the heart of both campaigns is continuing to reduce the spread of the virus and increase immunity with boosters to protect our communities.
“The pandemic highlighted the integral role these entities play as trusted authorities in the Black and African American community, and their partnerships have provided a pipeline for important conversations,” Clark explained. “Through these initiatives, we have been able to meet people where they are and have reached 88 church congregations and 110 beauty and barbershops across California, which has played a major role in getting people vaccinated and boosted,” stated Clark.
Lisa Collins specializes in outreach to the faith community in Southern California. For the past 20 years, Lisa Collins has consulted with politicians, local government officials and corporations on outreaching to the faith community with context specific assistance on a wide range of topics from media and messaging to community engagement. Ms. Collins has specific expertise in creating participative processes to galvanize faith leaders around issues and resources key to community and church empowerment. She has also consulted with churches on strategic planning, public policy engagement, initiative campaigns, independent expenditure operations and coalition building for more effective engagement.
The Beauty & Barbershop Health Initiative was established to empower African American individuals with the knowledge to choose healthier lifestyles. At the heart of the program is an appreciation for the unique role beauty and barbershops play in Black culture – as trusted places where customers exchange information and set cultural norms, including those related to health behaviors.