Concerned that America was ill-prepared and ill-equipped to deliver any of the COVID-19 vaccines to Black communities, Black leaders announced the creation of a task force in New York to both ensure the vaccine is readily accessible to Black New Yorkers and address concerns in Black communities about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine. The Task Force for Vaccine Equity and Education was formally announced through a media release, and named Marc Morial of the National Urban League, Rev. Al Sharpton of the National Action Network, and Sen. Nina Turner as co-chairs. The mission of the Task Force for Vaccine Equity and Education, which focuses on Black community, is to work with and help operationalize an internal government task force, the Governor’s Vaccine Equity Task Force, which has a broader mandate that includes Latinx, Asian and poor communities.
Among the co-signers of the letter were the co-chairs and members of the Task Force for Vaccine Equity and Education, including Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League; Rev. Al Sharpton, Founder and President of the National Action Network; Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO and Executive Director of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA); Dr. Hazel Dukes, President of the NAACP New York State Conference and a member of the NAACP National Board of Directors; Kyle Bragg, President of 32BJ Services Employees International Union; and Daniel Barber, President of the New York City Housing Authority Citywide Council of Presidents.