Community Foundation of Eastern CT Supports URU's ''Our Humanity''

The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut commits to the critical mission of health effort Our Humanity, increasing access to COVID-19 education and prevention measures among communities in Eastern Connecticut through partnerships with local entities.

URU The Right to Be, Inc announces it has been awarded $138,000 from the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut to support the expansion of URU’s Our Humanity initiative. Our Humanity is a risk-communication and riskreduction education and prevention effort that brings together partnering community entities to implement trainings, town hall discussions, disseminate signage and multimedia campaigns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular among communities that have been hit hardest by the virus. Our Humanity is led by filmmaker-author-educator Crystal R. Emery, and utilizes a
multipronged approach that builds capacity of local organizations to better respond through tailored interventions against the virus. Support from the Community Foundation enables Our Humanity’s expansion into Eastern Connecticut, bringing its education program to partnering entities such as faith-based organizations, including Walls Clarke Temple AME Zion Church, Rock of Salvation Church, Apostolic Church of the Good Shepherd, and 10+ churches connected through the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC). Other community partners include the NAACP New London, Norwich Branch NAACP, Southeastern CT Ministerial Alliance, and Windham Willimantic NAACP.

Our Humanity works in four key areas to equip communities in better responding during this unprecedented crisis: developing and deploying effective risk communication strategies to help people find credible information, implementing COVID-19 risk reduction intervention programs, increasing access to -- and participation in -- COVID-19 testing and flu vaccinations, and education about COVID-19 vaccinations and rollout. Our Humanity’s risk-communication mechanisms include a series of bilingual Virtual Town Halls with medical doctors that are hosted bi-weekly on Monday evenings at 7pm and alternating Tuesday evenings at 7pm, and multimedia content production including PSA-style videos, risk-communication signage that is disseminated throughout partnering organizations. In the Eastern Connecticut region, buses and street signs in the New London, Groton, Norwich and Willimantic areas will be equipped with Our Humanity
materials to reinforce critical messaging surrounding the virus and ensure that residents receive accurate information in English and Spanish on education surrounding measures to reduce the spread of the virus, and address vaccine hesitation.

“We are deeply committed to ensuring that all residents of our region have equal access to information on ways to protect themselves from contracting COVID-19. Some communities are higher risk and have far less resources available to them. We have partnered with URU The Right To Be because of their expertise. Their programming will provide intentional outreach to these  communities at the grassroots level so there is fairness and true equity in access to information – a powerful tool in preventing the transmission of COVID-19.” - Maryam Elahi, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut.

A full catalog of video messages as well as PDFs with prevention information developed by healthcare professionals, can be viewed at Follow URU on Instagram at @urutherighttobe for conversations between Emery and Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous experts on COVID-19 as part of the Our Humanity Discussion series held weekly on Wednesdays on IG Live at 12 p.m. EST.

Additional support for Our Humanity has been awarded from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Roslyn Milstein Meyer and Jerome Meyer Foundation, the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, and the Alexion Charitable Foundation.

A 501 (c)(3), the mission of URU is to foster communication and understanding among diverse people by utilizing, discovering and applying tangible multimedia solutions at the intersection of the arts, humanities, science and technology. URU’s goal is to move all stakeholders toward a more equitable and humane world. Because the human condition is complex, and people are multidimensional, it understandably takes a multimedia approach to engage them, especially given their constant bombardment with information. Through a unique approach that involves lowering peoples’ defense mechanisms and meeting them where they are, URU continues to be successful in its mission to help people find their commonalities and work together.