Mayor Scott and Leaders Join Baltimore NAACP
to Launch “Mask Up Baltimore… Please Get Vaccinated!” Campaign

Organizations and Community Hold Press Conference to Increase Vaccine Outreach and Education

The Baltimore NAACP held a press conference at 10 AM on Friday, August 27 on the Strong City Baltimore campus, in front of the Hoen Building at 2101 E. Biddle Street. The purpose of the press conference is to highlight unified efforts to increase vaccination and masking and to call for all hands on deck for courageous conversations about vaccine adoption. Community, health, faith, and political leaders will discuss why they support the mask mandate and express why it is so important to get vaccinated now.  NAACP Baltimore President Rev. Kobi Little and other leaders released the following statements:

“There is a lot of good outreach already taking place and we’re highlighting some of it and encouraging more of it. We are extending and further developing our partnerships with community-based organizations like Strong City Baltimore, Park Heights Renaissance, No Boundaries Coalition, and the Greater Baltimore Urban League while also collaborating with the Baltimore City Health Department, Johns Hopkins Medicine, and academic institutions like The School of Community Health at Morgan State University and the University of Maryland School of Medicine. We are asking everyone – citizens, faith communities, businesses, organizations – everyone, to join the campaign and collaborate with partners to get the message out – whether they include the NAACP or not,” said Rev. Kobi Little

“I want to thank the NAACP for partnering with my administration to promote vaccine awareness,” said Mayor Brandon Scott. “We must work together to halt the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”

Mayor Brandon M. Scott (Courtesy Photo/https://mayor.baltimorecity.gov/)

“The prevalence of the Delta variant is causing a serious increase in hospitalizations across the country,” said Kevin Sowers, President of Johns Hopkins Health System and Executive Vice President for Johns Hopkins Medicine. “More than 99 percent of the patients we now see hospitalized are unvaccinated. That’s why we are coming together to amplify our voices, with a common message that is important for every person in Baltimore: mask up, and please get vaccinated.”

“COVID requires all hands on deck to get the facts and the message out to everyone who is eligible to vaccinate and mask now because the price being paid by many of our communities is too high when we do not take these actions. Knowing that those of us in the public health sector have not always been trusted and credible voices, we also have to make the commitment that our respectful and collaborative engagement with communities will not end when the pandemic does. COVID has taught us all lessons we should not forget,” said Dr. Kim Sydnor, Dean of the School of Community Health and Policy at Morgan State University.

“I want to salute Reverend Kobi Little and the entire Baltimore NAACP, Mayor Brandon Scott and the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office, and all of the community, corporate, health, faith, and political leaders who have joined forces to advance the ‘Mask Up Baltimore… Please Get Vaccinated’ campaign. The only way we beat the COVID-19 pandemic is by working together and joining in a common cause to defeat this deadly virus. With the dangerous Delta Variant spreading quickly and new cases on the rise, it is more important than ever that we look out for one another – and each of us must do our part to keep our communities healthy and safe. I appreciate the efforts of the Baltimore NAACP to bring all hands on deck this Friday and to help unite efforts across our City to keep Marylanders healthy,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen.

“We are excited to collaborate with the NAACP and other community advocates to encourage our fellow Baltimoreans to take all protective measures available to halt the spread of COVID-19. As an organization whose core mission is building and strengthening neighborhoods and people, Strong City Baltimore shares our partners’ belief that the most effective way to advance the fight against this deadly virus is to ensure that our communities are armed with the powerful tool of sound and reliable information. In coalition with these partners and our communities, we can collectively reduce vaccine hesitancy and promote the health of our city’s most valuable resource: it’s people,” said Attorney Anwar Young, board chair of Strong City Baltimore.

“We are grateful for the leadership of our elected officials, Mayor Brandon Scott, Council President Nick Mosby, Delegation Chairs Cory McCray and Stephanie Smith, Senator Chris Van Hollen and others, and for their efforts to keep Baltimore safe from COVID-19. Now we are all coming together, elected officials, healthcare leaders, community leaders, academic leaders, faith leaders, and business leaders to step up our efforts to protect Baltimoreans from COVID infection by encouraging masking and vaccination,” said Rev. Little.

WHO: Confirmed speakers include:

Rev. Kobi Little, president, Baltimore NAACP

Mayor Brandon Scott

Kevin Sowers, President, Johns Hopkins Health System

Anwar Young, board chair, Strong City Baltimore

Council President Nick Mosby

Dr. Kim Sydnor, dean, MSU School of Community Health and Policy

Yolanda Jiggets, executive director, Park Heights Renaissance

Dr. Niharika Khanna. professor, UMB School of Medicine

Senator Cory McCray, chair, City Senate Delegation

Ashiah Parker, executive director, No Boundaries Coalition

Delegate Stephanie Smith, chair, City House Delegation

WHEN: Friday, August 27

TIME: 10 AM

WHERE: 2101 E. Biddle Street

BACKGROUND:

With the “Mask Up Baltimore… Please Get Vaccinated!” campaign the NAACP is distributing more free masks to Baltimore residents in response to the City’s COVID Delta-driven mask mandate. The masks are the product of a collaboration between the NAACP, Bank of America, and local Black businesses. The NAACP is also strengthening existing partnerships and initiating new ones to reach more people.

Research shows that person-to-person engagement is much more effective in encouraging vaccine adoption. When people hear the information and personal stories from friends and neighbors who are vaccinated they are much more likely to choose to become vaccinated. The campaign aims to stimulate collaborations across this city that promote vaccine adoption and support conversations between neighbors and friends about the importance of getting vaccinated