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New Films on Baltimore COVID-19 Vaccination to Premiere Next Week

Community events will take place on November 2, 3, and 6.

New Films on Baltimore COVID-19 Vaccination to Premiere Next Week

This November, Black Public Media (BPM) will present the world premieres of short films promoting adult vaccination in Baltimore's Black community, hard-hit by COVID-19. The films, produced with $120,000 in grants the national nonprofit awarded to two filmmaking teams, will screen at various community events in Baltimore.

BPM, a Harlem-based national media arts nonprofit dedicated to creating and producing media content about the Black experience, has partnered with the Outcast Food Network to host the community screenings. Baltimore Speaks: Black Communities, COVID-19 and the Cost of Not Doing Enough, by AphroChic (led by Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason), and COVID CONVERSATIONS: Baltimore on the Street Education, by Fearless Video (helmed by Julian Hamer and Yessica Hernandez-Cruz), will have their world premieres on Wednesday, November 2, at 6:30 p.m., at Baltimore Unity Hall at 1505 Eutaw Place in Baltimore. On Thursday, November 3, at 11:30 a.m., the films will be discussed as a part of the 6th annual conference of the National Organization for Arts in Health, held at the American Visionary Art Museum in Inner Harbor Baltimore. The final community screening will be Sunday, November 6, at 2:00 p.m., at The Peale, Baltimore's community museum. Vaccine clinics and limited grocery giveaways for Baltimore residents will be a part of the November 2 and 6 events.

Baltimore Speaks sees Baltimore residents, medical professionals and community ambassadors discussing topics surrounding the impact of the virus on the city's Black community, including the connection between historic medical mistreatment of African Americans and present-day mistrust, while detailing the city's efforts to spread vaccine information and sharing why they got vaccinated. COVID CONVERSATIONS, a viral shorts series, features unfiltered dialogues designed to disarm and educate residents about vaccines.

Both projects arose from the March 2022 BPM Black Media Story Summit (BMSS) - Baltimore, which focused on ways to increase Black vaccination in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. BPM is holding similar story summits around the country with creatives, community organizers, thought leaders and other stakeholders to address and develop content about pressing issues facing Black people.

Fearless Video and AphroChic were among those who submitted proposals following the Baltimore summit, and each was awarded $60,000 grants for their projects.

BPM has partnered with the National Network to Innovate for COVID-19 and Adult Vaccine Equity (NNICE) to develop media strategies to improve vaccination rates among African American adults. NNICE is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as part of their National Partnering for Vaccine Equity Initiative.

"BPM and NNICE are excited to share these films with the Baltimore community," said Leslie Fields-Cruz, executive director of BPM. "I hope the experiences and opinions expressed in these films, by everyday Baltimoreans as well as by healthcare professionals, will inspire everyone to view vaccines as an essential part of overall health and community wellness. Bravo, filmmakers and bravo Baltimore!"

The Black Media Story Summit - Baltimore was sponsored by NNICE. Additional support was provided by Maryland Public Television, GBMC Healthcare, WYPR Radio, The Peale, Baltimore Corps, Frontline, the Baltimore City Health Department and WOLB-AM Radio's Lunch with Labor.

Visit blackpublicmedia.org to reserve a free spot at one of the screenings. For more information on Black Public Media, visit blackpublicmedia.org, and follow the organization on social media at @blackpublicmedia on Instagram and Facebook, and @BLKPublicMedia on Twitter.

ABOUT BLACK PUBLIC MEDIA

Black Public Media (BPM) supports the development of visionary content creators and distributes stories about the global Black experience to inspire a more equitable and inclusive future. For more information, visit blackpublicmedia.org.



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