From Empower the Village:
Empower The Village’s ‘Operation: Stop The Spread’
Vaccine Event Comes to Morristown
Empower The Village Inc. (ETV) partnered with Zufall Health to offer more than 100 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Friday, at the Church of God in Christ for All Saints in Morristown.
After successfully offering free COVID-19 testing to the community in 2020 when it was much less accessible in certain communities, ETV was thrilled to be bringing The Village back together to help “Stop the Spread” of COVID-19, which has disproportionately impacted the Black & Brown communities.
“We are proud to be moving from hope to action. We have always known that access to the COVID-19 vaccines is the bigger challenge, not hesitancy, when it comes to vaccinating the Black community. Despite chatter focused on the minority of individuals of all races who are hesitant to receive the vaccines, we have observed a sustained interest, and even a surge in interest, in getting vaccinated. ETV is here to answer the call with our Village partners,” stated Ayo Sanderson Wilson, founder and board chair of Empower The Village.
Sanderson further commented that elected officials, like Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-11th Dist.) have been instrumental in convening conversations about the needs of the Black and Brown community to combat the pandemic, and have been “valuable in ensuring that community organizations, churches and healthcare systems have the supply needed to meet the demand.”
Congresswoman Sherrill stopped by to see the vaccine event, as she had visited previous ETV testing events in action, and to lend her voice and presence to the importance of stopping the spread.
“We have been assisting our community every day by navigating the complex labyrinth of county and health system online portals that continue to serve as barriers to scheduling vaccination appointments,” stated ETV Executive Director Cheryl Easley.
ETV has been leveraging its resources and extensive network to help those without access to technology and other challenges to sign-up for vaccine appointments.
“We are very pleased to be partnering with Zufall Health, Church of God in Christ in Morristown, and the Sigma Zeta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. to offer access to vaccines in the heart of Morristown’s Black and Brown communities. ETV is proud to help facilitate this life-saving service,” Easley shared.
Empower The Village has been a passionate voice in the Black community and at the forefront of community advocacy since the onset of the pandemic. The organization previously partnered with Zufall Health and Calvary Baptist Church during the Summer and Fall of 2020 to offer free COVID-19 testing events including a flu-shot clinic, in an effort to create awareness and bring peace of mind within the hard-hit Black and Brown communities.
A COVID-19 vaccine program seemed a natural evolution for this successful collaboration between ETV and Zufall Health, two community pillars, both of which have strong ties and credibility among Morristown’s under-served and faith-based communities.
“Zufall Health has provided more than 35,000 COVID tests and over 12,000 vaccinations to the most vulnerable residents of New Jersey. We have accomplished this as a result of our strong relationships with community partners, such as ETV and the Black churches — at first Calvary Baptist Church, and now The Church of God in Christ — because they have the pulse and the trust of the Black community,” observed Eva Turbiner, president and chief executive officer.
Pastor Robert Rogers of Morristown’s Church of God in Christ agreed. “Our church has a long-standing commitment to community empowerment, addressing racial disparities, and working with other organizations. This exciting partnership targets the health and wellness of this community.”
The Sigma Zeta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. also provided logistical support for this event, as it has for all of the previous ETV/Zufall COVID-19 events.
“We are pleased to continue working with our community partner, Empower The Village,” said Todd Easley, president of the Sigma Zeta Lambda Chapter in Morris County. “We know that we are making a difference.”
Empower The Village (ETV) is a data driven 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2018. ETV is focused on restoring Prosperity, Peace, and Power to the Black community by strategically partnering with “Village” leaders and allies to empower Black people, businesses, and community organizations to realize their full potential.