Advisory Committee Formed to Ensure COVID-19 Information Access for All Alexandrians

Page updated on May 21, 2020 at 8:58 AM

COVID-19 Resources for Those In NeedThe COVID-19 crisis is impacting everyone, particularly vulnerable populations including  communities of color. Last month, the City of Alexandria formed the  COVID-19 Community Response Advisory Committee to ensure that all Alexandrians have access to information about the pandemic. 

Part of the City’s goals and objectives during the pandemic is to get COVID information and resources into the hands of Alexandria’s more vulnerable populations, including older adults, those with disabilities, lower-income and people of color--particularly those who may not access to traditional media or those in communities where English is not primarily spoken.

The Advisory Committee,  led by Chief Equity Officer Jaqueline Tucker and Alexandria Health Department Public Health Planner Natalie Talis, was formed to help facilitate  equitable distribution of information across Alexandria’s diverse neighborhoods through community-based organizations and  individual members who are trusted voices within their neighborhoods. It includes members from over 40 nonprofit and faith-based organizations as well as representatives from the  Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) and the Office of Human Rights.

The group is committed to two-way communication between the City and community members and groups. During the weekly meetings, the group seeks feedback from community members, vulnerable populations and communities of color on where gaps exist in accessing information and resources.,  As a result of these weekly meetings, City services have been able to start bridging the information gap by providing critical information to community-based members, who are sharing the information in hard to reach areas.

“This committee demonstrates that the City of Alexandria values communication with diverse groups and works to foster a thriving city for all people,” says DCHS Communications Manager Jennifer Cohen-Cordero, a member of the committee. “It is a good step forward in one of our long-time goals of communicating  key health and resource messages to communities of color and vulnerable groups through a range of platforms and tactics, including non-traditional media and methods, trusted sources, and increasing two-way communication to receive input from communities of color on effective methods.”