Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibility
MENU

Asheville minister teams up with local organization to get marginalized people vaccinated

Asheville minister teams up with local organizations to get marginalized people vaccinated
The Rev. Dr. L.C. Ray is working with Dogwood Health Trust to reach out to faith-based organizations, in Asheville and the 18 counties of Western North Carolina, to try to get the message out of how important it is to get the COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Right now, there’s a push to make sure historically marginalized communities in the mountains get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The drive comes as vaccination rates have slowed in the past few weeks.

But a local minister has teamed up with an local organization to try to get past the vaccine hesitancy.

The Rev. Dr. L.C. Ray has been on the phone with area clergy members this past month.

"To encourage those pastors of the importance of them taking the shot,” Ray said.

It’s a push started by the Dogwood Health Trust.

"So, we’ve reached out to a number of faith-based organizations, in Asheville and the 18 counties of the region, to find people who can really help us get that message out,” the trust's interim chief executive officer Dr. Susan Mims said.

HEALTH OFFICIALS HOPE NEWS OF LOTTERY WINNER WILL ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO GET COVID-19 VACCINE

Mims also noted how crucial it is to talk to the community where it is.

"We know that COVID has been disproportionately affecting people of color and other historically marginalized populations, and we want to make sure everyone has access,” she said.

According to the CDC, right now in North Carolina, 57 percent of the population has at least one dose of the vaccine. Of that percentage only 9 percent were Black and 15 percent Hispanic.

"So, we reached out to organizations like Rev. Ray’s, who can help reach populations and make sure everyone understands to get vaccinated to protect their health,” Mims said.

"Over the last month, I’ve been calling clergy persons, not only here in Buncombe County but we’ve done our best to get in touch with those in parts of the western counties,” Ray said.

WINSTON-SALEM MOTHER OF 3, EDUCATOR WINS FIRST $1M COVID-19 VACCINE LOTTERY DRAWING

So, Ray has been really targeting smaller towns like Canton, Waynesville and Franklin that may not have as much support.

"We are working to ensure that vaccines are getting out to people who may not hear about it or have that opportunity," Mims said.

"All of us want to see some solution,” Ray said.

That is why teaming up with the community is so important.

"We know hearing from people you trust and leaders in the community are excellent ways to get information and get questions answered,” Mims said.

Dogwood has also partnered with the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina to set up a $100,000 fund to help support local vaccination efforts. Anyone interested in hosting a community vaccination event should contact the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina for support.

"We would like to encourage our Black and brown people, but also people in general, to really get this shot,” Ray said.

CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION CENTER: TRACK THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS, IMPACTS, AND HEADLINES ABOUT THE PANDEMIC HERE

---



FOLLOW US ON TWITTER