The United Way of Greater Newark has awarded more than $800,000 in grant funding to 15 community-based organizations in Newark to create and launch neighborhood-based mobile vaccination clinics as well as neighborhood-based outreach and public information campaigns.
This effort is part of the Newark Equitable Vaccine Initiative, which is led by the United Way of Greater Newark and is focused on building a fully community-powered model for increasing access and equity in vaccine distribution in Black and brown communities. It is part of a national pilot program created by the Rockefeller Foundation.
Despite the rapidly increasing number of vaccinations available to eligible residents in New Jersey and nationally, the vaccination rates in Black and brown communities remain disproportionately low. Newark has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the state among communities with more than 10,000 residents.
The following groups will be awarded grants:
- Allen Village CDC;
- Bridges Outreach Inc.;
- Clinton Hill Community Action;
- FOCUS Hispanic Center for Community Development Inc.;
- Ironbound Community Corp.;
- La Casa de Don Pedro;
- Newark Emergency Services for Families;
- North Jersey AIDS Alliance Inc.;
- Project Ready;
- Sarah Ward Nursery;
- South Ward Children’s Alliance;
- Tree House Ent & Cultural Arts;
- Unified Vailsburg Services Organization;
- United Community Corp.;
- Urban League of Essex County.
United Way of Greater Newark CEO Catherine Wilson said her group was thrilled to be able to make the grants.
“We’re excited to partner with this outstanding group of trusted community organizations to ensure that Newark residents gain access to and receive accurate information about COVID-19 vaccines,” she said. “This work has never been more urgent or important, and we’re grateful to the Rockefeller Foundation for their vision and commitment.
“For this work to be successful, it must be community-led, coordinated and consistent, which is why all of our grantees are local organizations with deep roots in Newark. Our ultimate goal is to not only substantially increase vaccination rates in the city, but to build a model of success for the future.”
The Newark Equitable Vaccine Initiative will run until the end of the year. The comprehensive effort includes an aggressive citywide marketing and communications program, neighborhood-based mobile vaccination events, neighborhood-based outreach and public information campaigns and a coordinated working group consisting of community-based organizations, health care providers, government, the faith-based community and small businesses.
Otis Rolley, senior vice president for the U.S. Equity and Economic Opportunity Initiative at the Rockefeller Foundation, said an equity-first approach to vaccine delivery is the key to Newark’s recovery.
“Without it, racial inequities will worsen,” he said. “The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to support United Way of Greater Newark and local community organizations to fight systemic barriers to vaccine accessibility by delivering vaccines directly to the hardest-hit wards in Newark and providing information about vital resources such as transportation.”