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PHOTOS: Lt. Governor Gilchrist Makes Second Stop of 'Making Real Change' Tour in Grand Rapids


May 14, 2021  



PHOTOS: Lt. Governor Gilchrist Makes Second Stop of 'Making Real Change' Tour in Grand Rapids 


LANSING, Mich. -- Today, Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist stopped in Grand Rapids as part of his 'Making Real Change' tour to promote vaccinations in cities across the state. The 'Making Real Change' tour will highlight the administration's continued efforts to flatten and eliminate racial disparities during the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on what the state has learned to apply those lessons to equitably administering vaccines; and what the state doing to build the resilience required to close racial disparities in health and other areas within communities.   


"The Making Real Change tour will highlight equitable vaccine access and encourage people who may be hesitant to get the safe, effective vaccine," said Lt. Governor Gilchrist. "COVID-19 has disproportionally harmed Black Michiganders and other people of color across the state, and we must remain vigilant in our pandemic response to address the specific needs of these communities. It is crucial to equip community leaders with the information and resources they need to inspire relatives, friends, and other loved ones to get vaccinatedThe best thing all of us can do to protect ourselves, our families, and neighbors is to get vaccinated, so we can grow the economy, create jobs, and do the things we love together."  


The Making Real Change Tour kicked off in Flint on Monday and will also make stops in Saginaw and Detroit. 


To date, the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities has focused on two goals: one to reduce the disparities in the mortality rate of COVID-19, and the second to connect those interventions to more extended term efforts. Additionally, this task force has worked to close the digital divide in telehealth and remote learning, launched a "Get Covered" campaign to make a coordinated push for every Michigander to sign up for health insurance, increased mobile testing infrastructure, which has transitioned seamlessly into vaccine administration and provided guidance to health care professionals on avoiding implicit bias. 


The task force was created per Executive Order 2020-55, and acts in an advisory capacity to Governor Whitmer. It studies the causes of racial disparities and recommends actions to address the historical and systemic inequities. 


To date, 55.4% Michiganders 16 years or older have received an initial dose, moving the state closer to its goal of equitably vaccinating at least 70% of Michiganders ages 16 and older as soon as possible. As part of these efforts, Michigan is partnering with organizations like New Hope Baptist Church to create more opportunities for Michigan residents to receive a vaccine.