The Gulf Coast Leadership Council (GCLC) is a 501 (c)(3) organization founded by key religious and civic leaders in Houston as a vehicle to train leadership from diverse faith and community institutions to go beyond providing services in order to develop the capacity to act effectively in the public arena.
In collaboration the Harris County Pubic Health Department and GCLC-prepared leaders from St. Leo the Great and Our Lady of Grace Catholic Churches, TMO brought over 790 vaccines to overlooked neighborhoods in unincorporated and low-income areas of Harris County. In Aldine, within the county borders, this collaboration was particularly important for parishioners and neighbors of St. Leo the Great Catholic parish, where over 690 people received their first vaccine dose over two events in August. In South Houston, leaders from Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church encouraged parishioners to get vaccinated through a combination of pulpit announcements, flyers and after-mass signups. Said Sylvia Soria, the church secretary of Our Lady of Grace: “Our parish membership is 99% Latino. Many of our families are working families that can not take time off during the week to get the vaccine across the other side of town. We’re glad to work with TMO, GCLC, and Harris County Health Department to bring the COVID-19 vaccine on a Saturday to our community.” Jornada de Vacunación en Ciudad con Gran Población Hispana, Telemundo [en español]Continue reading[Excerpt] The one-on-one approach to persuasion isn’t necessarily the most efficient, but it may be the most effective for the vaccine holdouts who have resisted every other large-scale push.... We know it can work because it already has. One group out there doing the intensive, small-scale work to raise vaccination rates is the Southeast Texas Faith & Community Leaders Coalition, [an expansion project of GCLC] based in Beaumont. Six team members told the editorial board last week that their community, like so many, is awash in vaccine conspiracies. Coordinator Mary Scott said the group has been going directly to apartment complexes with accurate vaccine information, and got approval from some Beaumont businesses to engage with customers about their vaccination drives. The grassroots team got 88 people vaccinated two weekends ago through churches and other centers.... Lamar University student [and GCLC supported organizer] Ricky Mendoza said conversations with Hispanic community members revealed concerns about fertility and the vaccine, which numerous health experts have debunked. (And the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued a strong recommendation recently that pregnant women should get vaccinated.) Mendoza said he’s finding that one-on-one conversations with people, in English and in Spanish, are slowly changing minds. [Photo Credit: Southeast Texas Faith & Community Leaders] Changing Minds on the Vaccine, One by One, Houston Chronicle [pdf] Coalition Brings Vaccines to Beaumont Residents in At-Risk Areas, Beaumont Enterprise [pdf] Organizations Team Up in Beaumont to Spread Word About Importance of Getting Covid Vaccine, FOX News [pdf] Putting Our Faith & Commitment to Democracy in Action, Southeast Texas Faith & Community LeadersContinue reading
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