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HBCU Buzz's Star-Studded Conversation Addresses Covid-19 Vaccinations and Concerns within the Black Community

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Terrence J talks with Kelly Rowland, Ashley Featherson, Lance Gross and more in session produced with Moderna and TBWA\Chiat\Day LA

HBCU Buzz's Star-Studded Conversation Addresses Covid-19 Vaccinations and Concerns within the Black Community

As the race continues to vaccinate millions across the United States, concerns around vaccinations, inequality and access, are just a few challenges we all face in hopes to return to a new normal. In the Black community, there is a history of mistrust that healthcare providers must consider and misinformation that must be addressed. To build confidence and further educate the Black community on vaccinations, Moderna sponsored a star-studded, unscripted conversation in partnership with HBCU Buzz for students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and BIPOC communities at large, alongside Doctors and public health experts.

The celebrity-filled conversation features Kelly Rowland, award-winning singer/songwriter and actress; Terrence J, Oscar Nominated Producer, Former Host of E!’s Entertainment Tonight and North Carolina A&T Alum; Ashley Blaine Featherson, Actress of Netflix’s Dear White People and Howard Alum; and Lance Gross, Actor of Tyler Perry’s House of Payne and Howard Alum. The hour long discussion was an educational session that addressed the major concerns from Black and Brown communities, answered by public health experts, Dr. Dan Fagbuyi, ER Physician and Former Obama Administration Biodefense and Public Health Appointee, Dr. David Hodge; Sr. Associate Director, Tuskegee University National Center for Bioethics in Research & Healthcare, and Dr. Walter Kimbrough, President of Dillard University.

The conversation covered a breakdown of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, impacts of the pandemic on communities of color, how mRNA science functions in vaccines, what “Warp Speed” really meant for Covid-19 Vaccine development timing, mental health impacts and what the new normal may look like, as well as addressing FAQs that were submitted by the HBCU Buzz audience.

“From the disproportionate COVID-19 effects to substantial vaccine access issues, and how those issues negatively impact vaccine adoption rates, we knew engagement with the Black community was pertinent and deserved a specific focus in a very authentic way,” said Oyinda Elias, Multicultural Practice Lead at TBWA\Chiat\Day LA, the creative agency of record for Moderna. “There is a history of medical mistrust and rightfully so, but there are also myths, rumors, and misinformation that we needed to address. This conversation with trusted figures in the Black community was unscripted and authentic because we want it to resonate.”  

The Tuskegee Syphilis Study took place at Tuskegee University - a HBCU located in Tuskegee, Alabama and one of the participating HBCUs in this conversation. HBCUs have long been the cornerstone for Black intellect and the leading producers for decision-makers across industries including Vice President Kamala Harris of Howard University. Fellow Howard alum and sorority sister of Vice President Harris, Ashley Blaine Featherson, shared similar sentiments regarding her participation in the discussion stating, “I’m here to be a champion for healthcare and better support for the Black community and what better way to start then with my peers and larger HBCU community.”

“This effort is really about providing information for anybody watching to make a truly informed decision to vaccinate,” said Dr. Fagbuyi. "At the end of the day, you have to know the facts. Get it from a credible source and what I always tell people is 'know your why' - why are you taking the vaccine, why are you not taking the vaccine. Once you can know your why, then we as health care providers can start to address some of those concerns, but also you can feel convicted in your decision-making."

This engaging and informative session was produced in partnership with Moderna and creative agency TBWA\Chiat\Day LA in an effort to help build vaccine confidence in communities of color by addressing vaccine misconceptions with facts and truths, as well as addressing culturally-relevant social issues.

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Categories: Health, Corporate, Social and PSAs

TBWA\Chiat\Day LA, Thu, 08 Apr 2021 09:50:01 GMT