SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — The local Black Lives Matter chapter will host a discussion on the disparities Black people routinely face in the health care system in regards to the COVID-19 vaccination.
The virtual event is open to the public and will take place on Wednesday, February 17th, at 6:30 pm on the group’s Facebook page. The discussion will be led by four panelists and a moderator who are all leaders of the Black community, including Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.
Sunshine Clemons, co-president of the Springfield Black Lives Matter chapter, says while the event is during Black History Month, it is open to everyone regardless of their race or age. Clemons believes that more people are traditionally inclined to learning about Black history during this time. She hopes the event helps to educate people on the long standing history of distrust within the Black community toward the health care system due to “some horrendous acts that were previously performed and neglected care.”
“This is a serious issue that needs to be addressed,” Clemons said. “It’s not solely on Black people to correct this…..So it is open to everyone and you can’t really work to rectify an issue if you don’t know what’s causing the issue. So this will give some historical context and background as to what some of the problems are and how we can all work together to correct this.”
Following the discussion, attendees will be able to voice any questions or concerns.
Clemons says she hopes the event will help build comfort for those who are reluctant about receiving the Coronavirus vaccine.