Weekly Now: Black CEOs Take Steps to Boost Vaccine Access

Black association leaders pledge to increase access to and confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines within the Black community. Also: Who defines an association’s culture, the members or the staff?

Getting the COVID-19 vaccines to everyone has been a major challenge, and a new coalition wants to ensure that the vaccines reach underserved communities, too.

A group of Black CEOs in the association space—including the leaders of AARP, the American Diabetes Association, the American Psychological Association, the International City/County Management Association, the National League of Cities (NLC), and the YMCA—have announced a pledge to boost awareness of the vaccines in Black communities and to take steps to increase access.

The situation is dire. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, less than 7 percent of people who have received at least one dose of a vaccine are Black, and nearly half of vaccination records are missing race and ethnicity data, limiting the ability to properly track the need in underserved communities.

The leaders announced the initiative via a webcast last week.

“As leaders of some of the largest member organizations in the United States, and also as Black Americans, we understand the critical importance of providing Black communities with the facts and data to help build confidence in the science behind COVID-19 vaccines,” NLC CEO and Executive Director Clarence E. Anthony said in a news release. “I am proud to work alongside my outstanding colleagues to help uplift the Black community during this critical time for the future of our nation.”

Other recent headlines:

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Who Owns the Culture?

Association leadership teams can determine their staff culture, but who establishes the culture of the membership itself? Meeting designer and facilitator Adrian Segar says many associations look to staff to define what he refers to as “external culture” but that members themselves should take the lead.

“How an association responds to wants, needs, and external events must always involve the entire association community—staff and members—so the organization responds and changes in a healthy way,” he writes.

Be sure to check out the full piece for more insights from Segar.


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Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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