National Urban League website photo

By Megan Finke
Nonprofit Sector News
July 7, 2021

Like so many other nonprofit organizations nationwide, the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio (ULGSO) is fighting to get its community members vaccinated against COVID-19.

This affiliate of the National Urban League serves 12 counties from Dayton to Northern Kentucky and comprises both the Greater Cincinnati Urban League and the Miami Valley Urban League.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, ULGSO has hosted a site where people can get tested and since April 2021, be vaccinated.

The site, at 3458 Reading Road in Cincinnati, and is open every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for free COVID-19 vaccines.

Ashlee Young, vice president for policy and strategic initiatives, says even before the vaccination site opened, the ULGSO worked with local health departments to develop lists of people who were interested in getting vaccinated.

Access for the Black community a primary goal of National Urban League. “We’ve been really committed to ensuring that the black community has access to accurate information around COVID-19, equitable access to vaccines, and testing,” Young said.

As the vaccine became more available, the ULGSO worked with the Ohio Council of Urban Leagues to push the importance of having equitable access. Writing letters to Governor DeWine asking for vaccines and giving the community informational sessions like, Corona 101, is just some of what they did.

“Part of that was really making sure that vaccination distribution included race and ethnic minorities, making sure that there was training around data collection, because there’s still a lot of unknowns,” Young said. “And also just an emphasis for them to make sure that they were partnering with trusted black communities for vaccination rollout.”

 National Urban League website photo

With these efforts, a vaccination site was able to be established in Cincinnati that is accessible to many. The site has a bus stop across the street and the League also has community partners that provide free transportation.

The clinic takes walk-ins as well scheduled appointments that are scheduled by texting VACCINE to 2797979.

“People just have questions and they want answers,” Young said. “And we want to be able to make sure we can provide those answers to them so that they can make their own decision around getting vaccinated.”

The ULGSO also has various information about COVID-19, the Cincinnati area, and the Black experience with the virus on its website, such as this video:

By nsn2020

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