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GAR Foundation's 'Know COVID' Provides Minority Communities with Information

GAR Foundation logo
GAR Foundation
The GAR Foundation has launched its "Know COVID" program to bridge the gap between minority communities and credible COVID-19 information.

An Akron foundation wants to connect citizens from minority communities with credible COVID-19 information, including information about vaccines.

The GAR Foundation has committed $200,000 to a program it’s calling "Know COVID." Through grants provided to community organizations and health care providers, GAR’s Bronlynn Thurman says the organization hopes to address longstanding racial inequities the pandemic has exacerbated.

Thurman: bridging the gaps
Bronlynn Thurman

“The barriers aren’t there by chance," Thurman said. "They are built into systems, but we wanted to at least try to get at the how do we bridge those gaps between our health care and our neighborhoods, our community members?”

Organizations will be able to use the funds in ways that most effectively target the communities they serve.

GAR is partnering with the following community organizations and health care systems:

  • Akron Urban League: The Urban League will act as a community hub where people can pick up materials and work with coordinators at set dates each month.
  • ArtsNow: The organization will select a Black artist to translate COVID-19 information into an artistic medium.
  • Cleveland Clinic Akron General and Summa Health System will work with the community organizations to create COVID-19 information, produce COVID-19 kits and host virtual information sessions.
  • LINKS Community Services: The organization will assess needs in the Middlebury community and act as a pickup location for personal protective equipment.
  • Love Akron: Love Akron will be tackling mental health awareness.
  • North Akron Community Development Corporation: North Akron CDC will disperse information and COVID-19 kits to Black and new Americans in North Hill.
  • Project Ujima: The organization will be a resource center for the West Akron neighborhood.
  • South Street Ministries: South Street Ministries will be canvassing the Summit Lake and South Akron neighborhoods monthly.
Abigail Bottar covers Akron, Canton, Kent and the surrounding areas for Ideastream Public Media.