Special Initiatives

COVID-19 African American Education And Outreach Partnership

Man raising a fist in front of a mural

Due to disparities rooted in underlying, systemic issues in healthcare services, communities of color have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Age-adjusted COVID-19 hospitalization rates are about four times higher for Black and Latinx Americans versus white Americans. Pacific Islanders, Latinx, Black and Indigenous Americans all have COVID-19 death rates that are double or more that of white Americans.

In response, community organizations from across the country have stepped up to deploy resources rapidly to communities and inform federal legislation to build a racially and economically just health care system.

The COVID-19 African American Education and Outreach Partnership is a community-centered public-philanthropic partnership that combines the local standing, trust, and reach of community-based organizations (CBOs) with the resources and convening power of philanthropic partners. The Partnership is a collaboration between East Bay Community Foundation, Kaiser Permanente Community Health, the Congressional Black Caucus Institute, and CBOs across the United States with the goal of ensuring accurate public health information and resources reach communities most impacted by this pandemic.

As the lead philanthropic partner, East Bay Community Foundation coordinates re-granting, develops and manages opportunities for cross-region learning, and serves as a hub for thought-partnership between these organizations and the CBOs. We are a conduit for public health information between the community-based organizations, state public health departments, and Congressional representatives.

Photo courtesy of Beaufort Jasper Hampton Comprehensive Health Services, Inc.

Partnership Model

Centering expertise of community-based organizations (CBOs), $2.4 million in grants were distributed to approximately 30 faith and community groups across California, the South, and mid-Atlantic regions. Projects that received funding focused on developing and amplifying accurate culturally and linguistically appropriate messages to counter disinformation, increase vaccine acceptance in Black communities, and inform federal legislation to build a racially and economically just health care system.

Grants were distributed to twelve anchor institutions and 30 community-based organization partners in seven regions across the country.

Media Campaign and Storytelling

A robust paid social and traditional media campaign developed by Carol H Williams Advertising (CHWA), a renowned, Black-led media firm aired television commercials and radio spots targeting African American communities with messages that encourage and empower stopping the spread of COVID-19. Frontline health workers shared their personal stories of trying to preserve life in underserved communities during the pandemic. A collaboration with Twitter for Good, elevated these stories, called the Covid Diaries, on social media to educate, advocate, and mobilize for health equity.


The National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) is co-developed an evaluation process with each CBO. Disaggregated data will be collected and analyzed to inform health disparities and system changes needed to better serve under-resourced communities of color.

Sharing Our Learnings

In 2021, EBCF and COVID-19 Partnership stakeholders were invited to share this unique, community-centered, and systemically-focused model at national conferences including the Council on Foundations Leading Together Summit, Change Philanthropy Unity Summit and NMQF’s National Leadership Summit.

Photo Courtesy of Garrett Rich, Native American Health Center’s Media Program Coordinator II

Related Staff

Media Coverage

Learn more about this unique partnership through these news stories and blog posts.

Colorlines. COVID-19 Vaccine: What White Conservatives Can Learn from Black Americans. January 28, 2021

NBCBayArea.com. Pop-up Covid vaccination in Oakland aims to help hard-hit community. February 22, 2021 (Posted on nativehealth.org)

KTVU.com. FEMA sets up mobile vaccination clinic in Fruitvale. April 6, 2021.

Oaklandside. Why this East Oakland Pastor Got Vaccinated. April 14, 2021

Reducing Patient Risk: The Podcast. COVID-19 African American Education and Outreach Partnership. September 13, 2021

Reimagine. Commentary: From the Ground Up: Solutions for Health Equity. September 15, 2021

Los Angeles Sentinel. Nonprofit Groups and Health Agencies Partner to Increase Vaccine Access. September 23, 2021.

New York Times. Why Many Black Americans Changed Their Minds About Covid Shots. October 13, 2021.

New York Times. Democrats’ Bill Would Cover Poor Uninsured Adults, Up to a Point. November 1, 2021.

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