The Many Facets of Partnership
For its entire history, The Junior League of Minneapolis has played a major role in bringing about many of the social reforms that our community has needed. We have embraced individuality and strive for inclusion. But we have not done this alone. We have maximized our impact through strategic external partnerships and volunteer action in pursuit of our mission: to close the opportunity gap.
Black people make up 6% of the population of Minnesota, but have made up only 3.5% of Minnesota’s vaccine recipients. This is most likely due to structural biases and barriers. While there has been a troubled history of being ignored or actively mistreated by health care professionals in the U.S., blaming the gap wholly on distrust in the system misplaces the responsibility onto Black Americans around vaccinations and distracts us from the real reasons why the inoculation rate is lower: access and equity.
Jan Malcolm, the Minnesota state health commissioner, has said the state is committed to doing more to expand vaccine access to people of color, including getting more doses to community pharmacies, partnering with local groups and deploying mobile vaccination clinics. (see MPR article here here). “A recent expansion in eligibility will steer more doses to minority members who have suffered higher rates of severe illness and death.” (see Star Tribune article here).
Included in the race to vaccinate are various “vaccine connectors”, tools that help Minnesotans find out when, where, and how to get a COVID-19 vaccine. For more information and to share additional resources with your Minnesota neighbors, please visit the following websites or hotlines: