Stacey Abrams Founded Organizations Award AISJ $6,000 for Vaccine Projects
AISJ is proud to announce it has been awarded two $3,000 grants, for a total of $6,000, from Stacey Abrams founded organizations, the Southern Economic Advancement Project (SEAP) and Fair Count, Inc., in support of our work to lead vaccine outreach, education and mobilization efforts across Alabama’s Black Belt. 

Throughout much of the pandemic, Alabama has had the highest positivity rate of COVID-19 of any state coupled with the lowest vaccination rate in the country. The Black Belt region has had a higher percentage of covid illness and deaths than any other region in the state, resulting from the region’s economic and health disparities coupled with a lack of access to medical care.  
With the SEAP Vaccine Project grant funds, AISJ hosted 6 vaccine outreach and mobilization events across the state in collaboration with our child care center partners - who are uniquely positioned to serve their communities through their role as trusted leaders and service providers for children and families. In addition to outreach and education activities, two of the mobilization events included access to on-site vaccinations for participants and attendees.
The following grassroots leaders and child care centers executed events through the support of this grant: Arlean Cole - Arleans Little Treasures Family Child Care (Huntsville/Harvest, AL), Kishia Saffold - Kiddie Care Learning Center (Dothan/Enterprise, AL), Lisa Nimmer - Healthy Kids (Greenville, AL), Elizabeth Sankey - Southlawn Child Care Center (Montgomery, AL), Joanevia (Navie) Eason - YWCA Central Alabama (Birmingham, AL), and Constance Dial - Trinity Kids Learning Ctr Inc (Mobile, AL).
As part of the vaccine outreach, AISJ collaborated with Alabama Forward to distribute Shine a Light bags that included a candle to light in memory of those lost during the pandemic as well as COVID-related resources. Shine a Light Alabama is a community-based effort of remembrance, resilience, and healing from losses experienced during the pandemic. Thank you to Alabama Forward’s executive director, Evan Milligan, for his assistance in helping us to facilitate the distribution of this resource across the state. 
An additional grant award of $3,000 from Fair Count, which partnered with SEAP on the initial Vaccine Project grants, will allow AISJ to continue vaccine outreach and mobilization efforts throughout the Spring. The additional grant will support hyper local vaccine outreach events that focus on providing vaccinations (first and second doses) to children ages 5-17.
Founded by Stacey Abrams in 2019, SEAP amplifies existing organizations and networks’ efforts to broaden economic power and build a more equitable future, while bringing attention to how race, class and gender intersect social and economic policy in states across the South. The Vaccine Project grants are a part of SEAP’s #CountMeIn initiative, which launched last year to assist Black, LatinX and Native American communities facing barriers in receiving COVID information and vaccines.