Press Releases Urban Institute Receives CDC Grant to Expand Vaccine Coverage through Community-Based Organizations
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WASHINGTON, D.C., August 12, 2021 — The Urban Institute announced today it has been awarded a $6.4 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to improve COVID-19 and influenza vaccine confidence and coverage among adults of color.

The program will provide subgrants to 20 community-based organizations (CBOs) across the country to increase the number of trusted community voices supporting vaccine education and delivery, improve the availability of community- or population-specific messaging, and support other activities designed to boost vaccine confidence, coverage, and access. Urban will also deliver tailored assistance to each CBO to address technical and organizational capacity needs so CBO partners can further strengthen and sustain their impact.

Urban selected CBOs through a competitive process informed by our research on equitable grantmaking practices and based on applicants’ existing community connections, their capacities to meet project goals, and other factors. The selected CBOs are listed below, with three pending finalization, all work in communities of color and most are led by people of color.

  • Arab-American Family Support Center (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
  • Asian Community and Cultural Center (Lincoln, Neb.)
  • Bright Beginnings (Washington, D.C.)
  • Comite Civico del Valle, Inc. (Brawley, Calif.)
  • Community of Hope (Washington, D.C.)
  • Covenant House (New York)
  • East Harris County Empowerment Council (Houston)
  • Eden Youth and Family Center (Hayward, Calif.)
  • El Buen Samaritano (Austin, Texas)
  • Immunize Colorado (Aurora, Colo.)
  • Mary’s Center (Washington, D.C.)
  • New Immigrant Community Empowerment (Queens, N.Y.)
  • Papa Ola Lokahi (Honolulu)
  • Refugee Women’s Network (Atlanta)
  • RefugeeOne (Chicago)
  • Thai Community Development Center (Los Angeles)
  • Urban League of Philadelphia (Philadelphia)

“As our research shows, people’s decisionmaking is complex when it comes to getting vaccinated. With this award, we will learn about what works to overcome vaccine hesitancy in communities of color and apply that knowledge to COVID-19 and future vaccination efforts,” said Urban Institute president Sarah Rosen Wartell. “We’re eager to collaborate with these 20 community organizations to help close equity gaps and strengthen public faith in vaccines.”

The Urban Institute is one of three intermediaries supporting CBOs to build vaccine confidence. The CDC Foundation and Community Catalyst are also aiding parallel efforts to reduce vaccine hesitation.

With this grant, Urban will also help establish a learning community to provide group learning activities across the wider realm of organizations receiving CDC grants and subgrants to increase vaccine confidence and coverage. Urban will identify and address common learning needs by delivering training and educational opportunities (e.g., webinars on topics such as vaccine effectiveness and the coronavirus Delta variant) and facilitating peer learning (e.g., through communities of practice). In doing so, the community will bridge knowledge gaps, identify and disseminate promising practices, and broker connections.

This funding will also support work with 10 additional CBOs in three states with particularly low vaccine coverage: Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Interested CBOs are encouraged to apply through August 31.

About the Urban Institute

The nonprofit Urban Institute is a leading research organization dedicated to developing evidence-based insights that improve people’s lives and strengthen communities. For 50 years, Urban has been the trusted source for rigorous analysis of complex social and economic issues; strategic advice to policymakers, philanthropists, and practitioners; and new, promising ideas that expand opportunities for all. Our work inspires effective decisions that advance fairness and enhance the well-being of people and places.


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Research Areas Health and health care
Tags COVID-19