To celebrate Juneteenth, non-profit Shared Harvest Fund/myCovidmd will host, ‘Sounds of Goodness,’ a festival to inspire the community to come out and get vaccinated. The event will take place on Saturday, June 18, at Norman O. Houston Park in Los Angeles from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Shared Harvest Fund was founded by three Black female doctors, Dr. NanaEfua Afoh-Manin, Dr. Briana Young, and Dr. Joanne Moreau, whose mission is to spread compassion through wellness, service and relief. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these three launched the MyCovidMD public telehealth network and Community Health Partners to address both the crisis of debt and the other social detriments of health.
Shared Harvest wants to improve four equity pillars, which include health, higher education, and financial and digital equity. Testing, access to vaccines, digital health, and more is all provided by the non-profit.
In February 2021, they launched the VAXEQUITY program in response to the low number of people of color getting vaccinated due misinformation, distrust, and low access. Many are hesitant to receive the vaccine, because of the negative stigma surrounding it.
Co-Founder and CEO Dr. NanaEfua Afoh-Manin feels that there are “valid historic reasons for distrusting the health system, many of which are deeply rooted in the history of how various cultural groups have been poorly represented and objectives in medicine.” Block party style pop-up vaccination events targeting Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) are offered to debunk the myths and build trust by providing vaccines administered by providers of color.
“We have to do the dual work of educating the population on the facts, meeting them where they are and taking the time to understand what is concerning them most,” she noted.
“It is not that minorities have the lowest vaccine rates, on the contrary, the challenge is one of access for vulnerable populations and then there is a segment of society (no matter the race) for which cannot be persuaded and they have turned off the idea of being vaccinated at all.”
Dr. NanaEfua explained how the festival is a celebration of Shared Harvest’s 4-year anniversary which celebrates the service and power of volunteering to improve mental health, interconnectedness and emotional wellness.
The event will be hosted by Fox LA’s Mimi Brown with performances from a Mariachi band, Afro-Funk Dancers, poets, comedians, a yoga session, and much more. Attendees can also enjoy an array of food trucks, gift bags, and a COVID-19 vaccination station. The VERCIS (Voices, Experiences, Reflections of COVID-19 in Society) docuseries presents “I am not your HERO,” a three part film will be premiered highlighting the obstacles physicians face and Shared Harvest’s story.
She expressed how the goal is to not only celebrate local artists and community healers, but to “raise awareness about art as a healing modality for mental and physical health, as well as the mental impact of the pandemic for frontline health professionals.”
Those who choose to get vaccinated will be screened by qualified healthcare providers who will also administer the vaccinations. The vaccines are free and provided for those age 5 and up. Pediatric Pfizer (5-11 years old), Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson will also be offered as boosters.
Dr. NanaEfua wants attendees to know that Shared Harvest is for everyone, whether you are a healthcare professional or not, we all benefit from the shared impact we make in each other’s lives. Shared Harvest is dedicated to ensuring the health and safety of those in marginalized communities.
‘Sounds of Goodness’ will be the last pop-up health fair of the season, however, in July, “I am not your HERO will premiere. They will continue their mobile health service, patient navigation, and COVID care in August.
For more information on Shared Harvest Fund, visit their website: https://www.sharedharvestfund.org/