Beneath Our Skin: COVID 19 vaccination storytelling in

Exceptional electronic challenge provides insights into Black Vermonters’ perceptions of COVID-19 vaccinations and obtain

Vermont Company Magazine The Vermont Division of Health has partnered with the Charlotte-based mostly Clemmons Loved ones Farm, an African American-led nonprofit corporation whose mission and abilities involves integrating the arts and storytelling into community health and fitness, K-12 education and learning and local community-building, for an impressive approach to gather information about the perceptions and motivations among the Black Vermonters about getting – or not obtaining – COVID-19 vaccinations. 

The unparalleled scope of the COVID-19 pandemic has touched just about each individual Vermonter and led to the state mobilizing the most thorough public wellness reaction in nearly a century.

Having said that, the expertise of the previous two and a half many years has also underscored general public health and fitness disparities that are rooted in systemic and historical inequities – disparities that have contributed to greater prices of COVID-relevant ailment, hospitalizations and gaps in vaccination uptake amongst specified Vermont populations. Below and nationally, the details demonstrates that the load has fallen hardest on men and women who are Black and of African descent, as well as Indigenous Americans/Indigenous peoples.

As section of the speedy and extensive-expression initiatives to deal with the effect of health and fitness disparities, the Overall health Division has been doing work with neighborhood associates to establish a shared understanding of requirements and perceptions related to increasing COVID-19 vaccination obtain and uptake.

Just one of the programs nearing completion is a exceptional COVID-19 vaccination conversation project called “Beneath Our Pores and skin,” developed and led by Clemmons Loved ones Farm, with funding assistance from the Wellness Division.

Beneath Our Pores and skin takes advantage of digital storytelling and visible and doing arts as culturally pertinent methods to get and share tales from Black Vermonters about their vaccination selections and experiences. The undertaking also looks at attitudes, perceptions and care-giving behaviors amid well being treatment providers who are included in delivering COVID-19 vaccinations.

“The Beneath Our Skin venture delivers protected areas for Black Vermonters to share their COVID-19 vaccination encounters,” said Dr. Lydia Clemmons, president and government director of Clemmons Relatives Farm. “The job utilizes an innovative solution that blends oral storytelling with visible artwork, songs, or poetry. The rich tales connect Black Vermonters’ ideas, thoughts and encounters about obtaining vaccinated—or not—in the context of the social upheaval we have all been experiencing over the past two 12 months.

Clemmons defined that the stories and artwork are strong methods to enable everybody to much better comprehend Black Americans’ often traumatic, intergenerational relationship with the health and fitness technique. “What we have acquired via this undertaking is that providing time to unpack and share out these ordeals is the 1st step towards constructing rely on with the wellness program and improving upon the way wellbeing expert services are delivered,” Clemmons claimed. 

An interim report submitted in March of this calendar year identified that the spaces made by this undertaking have available significant alternatives to Black participants as they method their encounters.

“Throughout the pandemic, our ordeals doing the job with the a lot of various populations that make up Vermont have aided us to superior understand how gaps in our cultural knowledge can impact particular person and community overall health,” said Health and fitness Commissioner Mark Levine, MD. “This partnership with the gifted Clemmons crew, as well as very similar artistic attempts with other companions, features the prospect for us to achieve valuable insights that will, in convert, help us to additional cut down overall health disparities, raise vaccination entry and uptake, and increase the overall health of all men and women in Vermont.”

Vermonters can see the current and future arts-built-in tales by traveling to the Clemmons Family members Farm site

Extra info about this method is available at and skin.

Discover far more about what Vermont is performing to boost overall health equity and to tackle general public wellbeing disparities: and fitness-fairness.

About the Clemmons Family members Farm

Clemmons Family Farm is an African American-led Vermont nonprofit organization doing the job in collaboration with a expanding community of Vermont’s artists and lifestyle bearers of African descent to mobilize the arts for neighborhood perfectly-being. Study extra at:  and at

About the Section of Health

We have been the state’s general public well being agency for far more than 130 yrs, performing each and every day to secure and advertise the wellbeing of Vermonters.

Visit — Be part of us on Fb — Adhere to us on Twitter

BURLINGTON, VT – Vermont Office of Wellbeing 6.14.2022