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February is Black History Month, honoring African Americans for their achievements and contributions in helping to shape our nation. In Fresno, city leaders took the opportunity to recognize the African American Coalition (AAC). On February 10, Fresno City Council President Nelson Esparza presented a proclamation to Coalition founder Shantay Davies-Balch, for the group’s “tireless work and leadership in advancing health issues affecting the African American community.”

African American Coalition receives a proclamation from the City of Fresno

The African American Coalition’s COVID-19 Equity Project addresses health disparities by decreasing the number of people of color who become infected or die from the coronavirus. In addition, the AAC provides COVID-19 testing and vaccines to the public while addressing vaccine hesitancy among residents. AAC Data Coordinator Tinicia McPeters said, “The COVID-19 pandemic presented new challenges for public health evaluators, policymakers, and practitioners, and it has mirrored historical trends in health disparities and poor health outcomes among African Americans. African Americans are more likely to contract, be hospitalized, and die of COVID-19–related complications than any other demographic. During the pandemic, the African American Coalition has been successful in educating, testing, and vaccinating our community against COVID-19. We will continue to be diligent in our work to protect those most vulnerable and those who, in most cases, are unable to protect themselves.”

In collaboration with community partners, the AAC’s COVID-19 Equity Project has provided education and support through outreach to more than 23,200 community members and administered nearly 10,000 vaccines to the Fresno community during the pandemic.

The AAC is still providing no-cost COVID-19 vaccinations and testing for ages 5+. You can register here for a vaccine at the African American Coalition’s COVID-19 Equity Project.

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