On December 21, 2020, Governor Cuomo announced the launch of New York's Vaccine Equity Task Force chaired by Secretary of State Rossana Rosado, Attorney General Letitia James, National Urban League President & CEO Marc Morial, and Healthfirst President & CEO Pat Wang.
The NYS COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Task Force is a dynamic group of community, policy and health experts who will assist the Governor in reducing barriers to vaccination and ensuring an equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccine.
The Task Force is made up of persons with expertise in addressing health equity for the purpose of reducing disparities among communities of color related to COVID-19 vaccination promotion, distribution, engagement and administration.
Guiding Equity Principles
- Build trust and acknowledge the pervasive structural racism that has contributed to existing health and social disparities.
- Promote health literacy and language access for all to benefit in order to ensure diversity and fairness in accessibility.
- Implement policy to ensure protections of privacy and confidentiality.
- Identify accessible and welcoming community locations across many diverse communities to conduct outreach.
- Engage with community-based partners that have experience and a trusted presence within all priority communities.
- Create public service announcements that are regionally placed, culturally responsive and representative of BIPOC.
- Develop community engagement resources for all priority communities in a fair and diverse manner.
Task Force Co-Chairs
Rossana Rosado, New York State Secretary of State
Letitia James, New York Attorney General
Marc Morial, National Urban League President & CEO
Pat Wang, Healthfirst President & CEO
- Frederick Shack, CEO, Urban Pathways, Inc.
- Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, President, SUNY Albany
- Murad Awawdeh, Interim Co-Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition
- Dr. Henry Chen, President, SOMOS Community Care
- Phyllis Jackson, Founder and Executive Director, Interdenominational Health Ministry Coalition; Community Wellness Project Manager; Common Ground Health
- Guillermo Chacón, President, Latino Commission on AIDS and Founder, Hispanic Health Network
- George Gresham, President, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East
- Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Special Advisor for Policy and Community Affairs, NYS Homes and Community Renewal
- Frankie Miranda, President and CEO, Hispanic Federation
- Rev. Dr. Calvin Butts, Pastor, Abyssinian Baptist Church
- Jo-Ann Yoo, Executive Director, Asian American Federation
- Dr. Hazel Dukes, President, NAACP New York State Conference
- Rev. Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, Senior Pastor, Grace Baptist Church
- Judith Watson, CEO, Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center
- Dr. Rosa Gil, Founder, President and CEO, Comunilife, Inc.
- Dr. Wayne Riley, President, SUNY Downstate Medical Center; Chair, Board of Trustees, New York Academy of Medicine
- Danny Barber, Chair, NYCHA Citywide Council of Presidents; President, Jackson Houses Tenant Association
- Kyle Bragg, President, 32BJ SEIU
- Karim Camara, Executive Director and Deputy Commissioner, Governor's Office of Faith-Based Community Development Services
- Rev. Mark E. Blue, President, Buffalo Chapter NAACP
The Vaccine Equity Task Force has established a series of Fireside Chats on a series of topics to engage community members about access, equity and distribution. Past Fireside Chats have featured clinicians, top public health experts and community leaders, who have answered questions from New Yorkers on the safety and efficacy of COVID vaccines. If you're interested in hosting your own Fireside Chat, see instructions below.
Host a Fireside Chat
The Vaccine Equity Task Force is open-sourcing the Fireside Chat series, encouraging community organizations throughout New York to host their own conversations with members of their specific community. Please see a toolkit in multiple languages below.
Toolkit also available in:
Please see the below videos of previously held Fireside Chats:
Session 1: Building Trust
Featuring: Dr. Oni Blackstock, Health Justice; Dr. Althea Maybank, Inaugural Chief Heath Equity Officer, American Medical Association; Dr. Chinazo Cunningham, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Session 2: Staying Informed: Addressing Community Concerns about the COVID-19 Vaccine
Featuring: Bobby Watts, CEO, National Health Care for the Homeless Council; Jason Starr, Director of Litigation, Human Rights Campaign
Session 3: Making Informed Decisions: Exploring the Historical Context and Science Behind the COVID-19 Vaccine
Featuring: Dr. Wayne Riley, President of SUNY Downstate Medical Center; Dr. Raul Vazquez, Founder of Urban Family Practice & CEO at GBUACO
Session 4: COVID-19 Vaccines: Taking a Closer Look
Featuring: Dr. Alda Osinaga, NYS Dept. of Health, Office of Quality and Patient Safety; Dr. Elizabeth Rausch-Phung, NYS Dept. of Health, Bureau of Immunization; Dr. Charles Gonzalez, Medical Director, NYS Dept. of Health, AIDS Institute
Session 5: Overcoming COVID-19 Vaccine Skepticism: The Role of Faith Communities
Featuring: Rev. Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, Senior Pastor, Grace Baptist Church; Imam Abdul-Raham Yaki, Senior Imam at the Islamic Center of the Capital District; Dr. Salvador Savino, Senior Pastor, Heavenly Vision Christian Center
Session 6: The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine: A Conversation with Clinicians and Community Members
Featuring: Dr. Randall N. Hyer, Senior Vice President, Global Medical Affairs, Moderna; Dr. Jennifer Davila, Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist, Children's Hospital, Montefiore Medical Center; Takesha L. Leonard, EdD, FNP-BC, East Side Medical Director, Jericho Road Community Health Center
Session 7: La vacuna COVID-19: movilizando a la comunidad latina
Presentando: Rossana Rosado, NY Secretaria de estado; Dr. Debbie Salas-Lopez, Vicepresidenta senior, Salud comunitaria y poblacional, Northwell Health; Carola Otero Bracco, Directora ejecutiva, Neighbors Link; Dr. Luisa Perez, Directora medica, Godwin Medical PC Member Provider, SOMOS Community Care
Session 8: COVID-19 与疫苗：动员华人社区
特色: Dr. George Liu, CAIPA; Dr. Henry Chen, SOMOS; Justin Yu, President, Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association
Session 9: COVID-19 Vaccine & Tribal Nations: Building Community Trust
Featuring: Amie Barnes, Executive Director, Dancer's Coalition; Michael Martin, Executive Director, Native American Community Services of Erie and Niagara Counties, Inc; Makayla Syas, Shinnecock COVID-19 Response Team; Dr. Brian Thompson, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Upstate Medical University
Session 10: COVID-19 Vaccines & the LGBTQ+ Community: Staying Informed
Featuring: Dr. Freddy Molano, Vice President, Infectious Disease and LGBTQ Programs, Community Healthcare Network; Ace Robinson, Director of Strategic Partnerships & The Center to End the Epidemics, NMAC; Tandra LaGrone, Chief Executive Officer, In Our Own Voices
Women's Health Forum
Protect Yourself, Protect Your Family: A #VaccinateNY Women's Health Forum
May 25, 2021 - Co-sponsored by the COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Task Force and the New York State Council on Women & Girls