United Way and Harlem’s Children Zone partner on Stay Covered Together mask campaign


United Way for Southeastern Michigan and Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) have partnered to proactively encourage wearing masks, social distancing and washing hands. Health experts have said these three measures can reduced the spread of COVID-19. The campaign will run through the March, 2021 in various media channels including billboards, radio, social, and newspaper. Collective, a local media agency, has assisted with the placement.

With increased cases of coronavirus in Michigan and across the country, health and governmental officials are once again promoting measures to reduce the further spread of the virus. And with higher rates of chronic health conditions, limited access to healthcare and greater economic insecurity, communities of color are being hit the hardest.

Many frontline workers come from neighborhoods with limited access to resources like face masks. That means they are at a greater risk of exposing themselves, those closest to them and the public.

“Unfortunately, we are seeing some of the highest infection rates, since the pandemic impacted our state and nation,” says Dr. Darienne Hudson, president and CEO of United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “Wearing a mask remains one of the easiest ways to stay safe, stop the spread, and save lives We know from data that the most vulnerable and people of color are more at risk and can suffer long-lasting harm to the stability of their households.”

Earlier this year, United Way for Southeastern Michigan partnered with Harlem Children’s Zone, receiving a $2 million grant to support ongoing efforts to help those most in need from the effects of COVID-19. The funds, through Harlem Children’s Zone, are part of a larger national commitment by The Audacious Project.

The Audacious Project has committed $26 million in funding to apply toward HCZ’s larger goal of raising $50 million for ongoing COVID-19 relief efforts in Harlem and the six U.S. cities. The William Julius Wilson Institute (WJW) at HCZ serves as the platform for this national effort.

“Each of us can either be a part of the spread, or we can stop it in its tracks,” said Kwame Owusu-Kesse, CEO of Harlem Children’s Zone. “Right now, everything we do can help save lives and livelihood — and it starts with each individual.”

The five critical areas addressed by the funding include:

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About United Way for Southeastern Michigan

United Way for Southeastern Michigan mobilizes the caring power of Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties to improve lives in measurable and lasting ways, in partnership with more than 700 agency partners. United Way is a leader in convening entities including business, labor, and government toward achieving positive outcomes

for individuals and families around its Basic Needs & Health; Education; and Economic Prosperity strategies. The organization engages the community in its work via volunteerism and advocacy efforts, and its annual campaign. For more information visit www.UnitedWaySEM.org.