DENVER (KDVR) — A group of young Denver leaders is working to bridge the gap between minority communities and COVID-19 vaccine opportunities, by bringing valuable information to neighborhoods across the city.
Denver’s Mayoral Ambassador Program started in 2018 as a way to better connect the mayor’s office to the community.
“It’s a group of young, diverse leaders. These are youth pastors, nonprofit leaders, entrepreneurs, influencers, some YouTubers,” said Christian Jimenez, Director of Community Outreach for the mayor’s office.
The 30 mayoral ambassadors are each assigned to three neighborhoods across the city.
“They represent the mayor and also advocate for their community. So, what does a local nonprofit need? What do the small business owners need?” said Jimenez.
Their focus is currently on distributing accurate information on the COVID-19 vaccine, particularly to communities that may have a negative perception of it.
“There’s a lot of misinformation and a lot of fear in our communities, especially our immigrant faith community. The ambassadors are able to disseminate and bring correct information directly from the public health department to these communities, in their own language,” said Jimenez.
On Friday, Jimenez said five ambassadors helped schedule vaccine appointments for 200 Spanish speaking Denver residents.
“They were not very familiar with technology and a lot of the cases they didn’t even have an email. We had to actually get them on email, show them how it worked, register them, confirm their appointments,” said Jimenez.
He said that example highlights how valuable this approach is in the effort to get Coloradans vaccinated as quickly as possible.