I am deeply saddened for my family, friends, colleagues and community members who have contracted COVID-19, battled the virus, and lost loved ones since March 2020. I know that many of us share our passion and commitment to equity and our dismay by the low numbers of vaccine distribution and participation in our communities. On January 11th, I received my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. My reasons for doing so are complex. After speaking with my doctor and doing my own research about risks, I believed strongly in doing my part to help slow the spread of the virus in my community and the city I love. As an educator, I am committed to ensuring that access to the vaccine does not leave behind the most vulnerable populations and communities who have traditionally been left out of the healthcare system and have had increased exposure to the virus due to socio-economic factors. As an African-American female, I am doing my part to educate my community and ask them to trust the science by providing access to medical professionals who can answer questions and calm fears.
Nationally, African Americans, Latinos, low-income and rural communities are lagging behind in the COVID vaccine rollout. Federal and state officials are taking note and attempting to adapt policies such that equity stays at the forefront. But those efforts are not enough. Now is the time for schools to take a larger and more active role, as a trusted partner, in our communities. We must partner in non-traditional ways to share information and resources with our staff and families so that everyone has the information they need to keep themselves and their families safe.
It's going to take all of us, working together, to change the narrative in Black and Brown communities. The vaccine is now available to anyone who is 16 and older in our state. As we all strive for equity, I implore you to use your voice to help our families navigate a system that has been challenging for many. Public Prep will continue to amplify the message that “Vaccines Save Lives.”
Please see a recap of our efforts below.
CEO, Public Prep
Public Prep Teachers Featured in Vaccine Awareness Campaign
A group of high-performing public charter schools from across the Bronx launched a new campaign Wednesday to encourage educators, school staff and community members to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Read the announcement on BronxTimes.
“Over the last year, our borough has faced incredible obstacles — ones that we’ve overcome,” said Janelle Bradshaw, CEO of Public Prep. “Now, we have a simple message to educators and residents everywhere who are concerned about the vaccine: it’s about keeping our kids and our communities safe. That’s why I received the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as I was eligible, and with this new campaign, if we can encourage even a few people to get vaccinated, we’ve helped make the future even brighter for the Bronx.”
Vaccine Awareness Forum with SOMOS Community Care
In partnership with Dr. Roman Tallaj from SOMOS, Public Prep hosted a bilingual vaccine awareness webinar event for our families and community. You can watch the event here.
As part of our efforts to cultivate a culture of talking about the vaccine , we launched an #IGotTheShotFor Campaign. Check out our staff testimonies here.