On March 16, 2021, Governor Hogan received a letter from Maryland Nonprofits and Maryland Latinos Unidos signed by more than 500 signatories, including 221 organizations and 287 individuals. The letter urges more equitable vaccine access across the state and requests that nonprofits have a role in the distribution process. The signatories of the letter ask that the nonprofit community be provided with a direct channel of input with the State regarding the issue of vaccine access over the coming 6-12 months.
Nonprofits are part of the essential workforce that delivers basic health and social services to communities across the state, and the nonprofit community can significantly add value to expand vaccine access and adoption across the State. Nonprofits and faith-based organizations have the connections, trust, and knowledge of their local communities and must be provided resources and a regular forum with the Maryland Department of Health to participate fully in vaccine access work.
The letter’s signatories include nonprofits, faith-based organizations, for-profit companies, and individual members of the community. Read the letter and review its supporters below, or click here to download the letter as a PDF.
March 16, 2021
The Hon. Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr.
Governor of Maryland
100 State Circle
Annapolis, MD 21401
Dear Governor Hogan:
We are writing on behalf of Maryland Nonprofits that represents more than 1,000 nonprofit members from across the state of Maryland, and Maryland Latinos Unidos, a program of Maryland Nonprofits, representing Latino-led and Latino serving nonprofit organizations, and the signatories to this letter.
First, we thank you for your leadership and work with the General Assembly in quickly approving the Recovery for the Economy, Livelihoods, Industries, Entrepreneurs, and Families (RELIEF) Act, that will include funding for vaccine access, food banks, mental health and nonprofit organizations in this great time of need. But even with this assistance, the problem with of assuring equitable access and distribution with Covid-19 vaccines remains serious across the State.
Nonprofits are part of the essential workforce that delivers basic health and social services to communities across the state. Our members are increasingly concerned with the lack of equity in vaccine distribution to date, as well as the lack of clear plans on how we will expand vaccine access and adoption in Black, Latino and low-income communities. Nonprofits and faith-based organizations have the connections, trust, and knowledge of their local communities and must be provided resources and a regular forum with Maryland Department of Health to participate fully in vaccine access work. This is a race against the clock to get to zero infections in Maryland.
We are particularly concerned that communities hardest hit with COVID-19 continue to remain those with disproportionately lower vaccination rates. As just one example, Prince George’s County, the state’s hardest-hit county from COVID and the county with high numbers of Latino and Black residents has a vaccination rate less than half the state average (3.7% in Prince Georges County vs. 7.8% statewide) according to the data provided to the Senate Vaccine Oversight Workgroup on February 15, 2021. The data from Maryland Department of Health further outlines that only 15% of vaccines have been distributed to Black people who make up 31% of the state’s population and only 3.7% have been distributed to Hispanic people who make up 10% of the state’s population.
We must have a plan and greater community input to ensure equity and that we overcome the following barriers:
- Cost: Ensure vaccines are free and do not require copays.
- Internet Access: Expand opportunities for people without internet to obtain information and assistance in making appointments by phone.
- Transportation Access and Disability: Ensure people without transportation and people with disabilities are reached and can be vaccinated through a mobile site or have transportation provided.
- Outreach by Trusted Messengers: Ensure Black, Latino and other immigrant and low-income communities receive vaccine information in numerous ways from trusted messengers.
- Vaccine Site Placement and Mobile Vaccination Clinics: Ensure that vaccination sites are located in walking distance to where people live in communities with high numbers of Black, immigrant and low-income communities.
- Language Access: Ensure vaccine information is available in multiple languages and that vaccine administration sites are equipped with interpreters and health practitioners who are from the community and speak different languages.
- Vaccine Hesitancy: Ensure funding is provided to support partnerships with trusted organizations that can help address vaccine hesitancy in Black and Latino communities and across all Marylanders. We cannot underestimate the concerns that our neighbors face – particularly regarding the historical treatment of Black communities in the area of medical experimentation and of Latino communities in terms of deportation and detention. The current implementation of plans for vaccine distribution are not putting us in a position to tackle these real problems.
Nonprofits are particularly well suited to serve communities experiencing barriers to vaccination. We ask that the nonprofit community be provided with a direct channel of input into the issue of vaccine access over the coming 6-12 months. We believe the nonprofit community can significantly add value to expand vaccine access and adoption across the State. Please engage us in a robust way as part of the vaccine solution in Maryland so we can bring our infection rates down to zero and get Maryland moving again!
Thank you for all you are doing to keep Maryland safe and moving forward amidst the pandemic.
President & CEO
Maryland Latinos Unidos
- Adelante Latina!
- 365 Diversity
- Accessible Resources for Independence Incorporated
- African American Community Roundtable of Howard County
- AfriThrive Inc
- Agape Deliverance Ministries Inc
- AIDS Action Baltimore, Inc.
- Amara Legal Center
- American Society of Plant Biologists
- AMMPARO Network DMV
- Anacostia Watershed Society, Inc.
- Association Activision
- Association of Community Services of Howard County
- B4U-ACT, Inc.
- Baltimore Association of Nepalese in America (BANA)
- Baltimore Healthy Start, Inc.
- Baltimore Neighbors Network
- Baltimore Regional Housing Partnership
- Baltimore Rock Opera Society
- BEACON House, Inc.
- Behavioral Health Leadership Institute
- Black Doula Project
- Blind Industries and Services of Maryland
- B’More Clubhouse
- Bon Secours Baltimore Foundation
- Boost Social Sector Consulting LLC
- Brain Injury Association of Maryland
- Bridges to Housing Stability, Inc.
- BVM Foundation Inc.
- Calvert Library
- Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic
- CANTORI CARES LLC
- CASH Campaign of Maryland
- Catonsville Emergency Assistance
- Cause Engagement Associates LLC
- Cedar Ridge Children’s Home and School, Inc.
- Center of Help, Inc.
- Challengers Independent Living
- Child Safety Squad Inc
- Children’s Theatre of Annapolis
- Christian Shelter
- Church on the Square
- Clinica Medica Primaria de Rising Sun
- Communities United
- Community Action Council
- Community Development Network of Maryland
- Community Reach of Montgomery County
- Cool & Associates LLC
- Cornerstone Montgomery
- Cristata Cares
- Crossroads Community Inc
- CSahm Foundation for ADHD Services and Support, LLC
- Culture Principles
- Defensores de la Cuenca
- DeLeon & Stang
- DIJAH’s Diverse Training Services
- Disability Rights Maryland
- DRU Mondawmin Healthy Families Inc.
- Dundalk Renaissance Corporation
- DVS Legal Services, Inc.
- ecoLatinos, Inc.
- El Poder de Ser Mujer
- ElevateHER, Inc.
- Elizabeth Seton High School
- Elmanda Maima Boakai Foundation Inc
- Employ Prince George’s
- Envision Frederick County, Inc
- Episcopal Diocese of MD
- Family League of Baltimore
- FDR Community Outreach Center, Inc
- Fellowship Outreach Corporation, Inc
- FOZA Inc
- Garwyn Oaks Northwest Housing Resource Center
- Gethsemane Baptist Church
- Goshen UMC
- Grace Global Health Compassion, Inc
- Greater Baybrook Alliance
- Greater Expectations Outreach Ministries
- Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland
- HARBEL Community Organization
- Harlem Park Community Development Corporation
- HeartSmart Foundation
- Help in the Home, LLC
- Heritage Africa
- Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection
- Homeless Persons Representation Project
- HopeWell Cancer Support
- Horizon Foundation of Howard County
- Hospice of the Chesapeake
- Housing Options & Planning Enterprises, Inc.
- Howard County Autism Society
- iFLY Youth
- I’m Bruised But Not Broken, Inc
- Immigration Outreach Service Center
- In Honor of Our Troops (IHOOT)
- In Reach, Inc.
- Independence Now
- Integrative Management Solutions, LLC
- Integrity LLC
- Invest in Children of the world
- It Takes Two, Inc
- Judson Education Center
- Junior League of Baltimore
- Just Neighbors
- Kits to Heart
- KSA Youth Foundation dba A+ Counseling Center-A+ Health Center
- Lakespring Associates
- Laurel Advocacy and Referral Services, Inc.
- Leadenhall Baptist
- Leaders of Tomorrow Youth Center Inc
- League of Women Voters of Baltimore City
- League of Women Voters of Maryland
- Let’s Thrive Baltimore
- Management Counsel, LTD & LLC
- Manna Food Center
- Mary Kraft & Associates, Inc.
- Maryland Academy of Family Physicians
- Maryland Alliance of Public Charter Schools
- Maryland Center on Economic Policy
- Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative
- Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault
- Maryland Coalition of Families
- Maryland Episcopal Public Policy Network; Anne Arundel County Human Relations Commission
- Maryland Hunger Solutions
- Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence
- Maryland New Directions
- Maryland Nonprofits
- Maryland Public Health Association
- Maryland Resource Parent Assoc.
- Maryland Rural Health Association
- Maryland Veterinary Technician Association
- Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service
- Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care
- Mason-Dixon Community Services, Inc.
- McJoy’s Joy Covenant
- MD Association of Community Services
- MD Coalition of Families
- Mid County United Ministries, Inc.
- Mikros Group, LLC
- Minority Access, Inc.
- Monterey Institute of Natural Medicine
- Montgomery County Food Council
- NAMI Howard County
- NAMI Maryland
- NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore, Inc.
- National Center for Children and Families (NCCF)
- National Great Blacks in Wax Museum
- NKWA Foundation Inc
- Nonprofit Village
- Omicron Delta Sigma
- Outcast Food Network
- Owen Community Healthcare Center, Inc.
- Palomino Media Group LLC
- Park Heights Renaissance
- Planned Parenthood of Maryland
- Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC
- Power Jam Music Alliance Inc.
- Power52 Foundation
- Prensa Libre de Maryland
- Pressley Ridge
- Proyecto Salud Clinic
- Public Justice Center
- Quixote Center
- Rebuild Johnston Neighborhood Org
- Rebuilding Together Howard County
- Recovery Coalition of Maryland
- Redstart Creative
- Reflections of Christ
- Reggie Prostate Cancer Foundation
- Retreat Center of Maryland
- Saltzberg Consulting
- Sankofa Children’s Museum of African Cultures
- Second Chance Christian Center
- Second Chances Garage
- Solutions in Hometown Connections
- South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
- Francis Neighborhood Center
- Luke’s Church on the Avenue
- STAR Scholars Network
- Steadfast, Standing Firm Against Youth Homelessness
- Stella’s Girls
- Street Angel Project Inc
- Strong City Baltimore
- Sunshine Projects
- Susanna Wesley House
- Adams & Associates
- Taking the Lead, Inc.
- The Arc Baltimore, Inc.
- The Board Room Chess
- The Clarion Call, Inc.
- The Community Group Inc
- The Coordinating Center
- The Freedom Center, Inc.
- The Great Commission Network Foundation
- The Harford Center, Inc
- The Helen J. Serini Foundation
- The Law Help Center, Inc
- The Maryland Umbrella Group
- The National Center for Children and Families
- The Parents’ Place of MD
- The Pro Bono Counseling Project
- The Training Source, Inc.
- The Word Woman LLC
- Trellis Partners
- Tri-County Youth Services Bureau, Inc.
- Unforeseen Visions Inc.
- United Way of Central Maryland
- United Way of Frederick County
- Upcounty Community Resources, Inc.
- Venezuela Children’s Foundation
- Victory of Hope Outreach Ministry
- Wide Angle Youth Media
- Wilcome Human Services, Inc.
- Wiley H. Bates Legacy Center, Inc
- WIN Family Services
- Women’s Housing Coalition