Rev. Jesse Mason receiving his vaccination.Photos by Joe L. Fisher
By 9:00 a.m. on March 30, citizens of Richmond had begun lining up at the Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church to receive vaccination shots for COVID-19.
By 2:20 p.m., more than 300 people had received the Johnson and Johnson vaccination. Contra Costa County in collaboration with the One Accord Project significantlyadvanced the vaccination process through partnership with the faith community.
The One Accord Project is a nonprofit organization, that focuses on issues of health, economic development, civic engagement within the African- American community/faith community, locally and nationally.
During a One Accord zoom conference the pastor, Rev.Alvin C. Bernstine, impressed upon Contra Costa County Department of Health Chief Equity Officer Gilbert Salinas the idea that bringing the vaccines into neighborhoods through trusted community institutions would do much to overcome vaccination hesitancy.
Bernstine proved to be right: a number of peopleadmitted that having the vaccinations at Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church persuaded them to be vaccinated.
A number of Richmond pastors showed up, including Rev.Jesse Mason of the Macedonia Baptist Church who was accompanied with his once-vaccination hesitant mother. District Attorney Diana Becton was on site assisting throughout the entire process.