Hip Hop Public Health advisory board member and legendary rapper, Darryl DMC McDaniels joined hundreds of other New York residents from Harlem, Northern Manhattan, and Morningside Heights recently at Columbia University’s first Community Pop-up Vaccination Site, organized by Columbia University’s Community Wellness Center and Columbia Doctors with help from Columbia University Irving Medical Center’s Office of Community Service Programs.
Also present was our founder Dr. Olajide Williams who leads The Wellness Center along with Dr. Sidney Hankerson, assistant professor of psychiatry, both physicians at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and Dr. Rafael Lantigua who is the Dean’s special advisor to Columbia University Irving Medical Center’s Office of Community Service Programs.
“Inequitable access to healthcare resources and treatment is a major challenge facing communities of color”, said Dr. Williams who is also chief of staff, Department of Neurology New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University. “We have seen these barriers play out in access to the COVID-19 vaccines even though communities of color continue to be hospitalized and die at disproportionately higher rates. As numbers continue to spike, we must align ourselves as medical professionals, community activists, civic leaders and everyday citizens to stop this pandemic in its tracks by making vaccination easy-to-obtain for all members of our society regardless of their wealth or skin color.”
“The doctors did their job, now it’s up to us to do ours,” shared Darryl DMC McDaniels in a recent ET interview. He stopped by the vaccine pop-up, along with his wife and son, to get their first dose and raise awareness about vaccine literacy. McDaniels is also significantly involved in the recently launched Community Immunity – a rap anthology that dispels myths and educates people about the vaccines produced by Hip Hop Public Health, under the leadership of Dr. Williams and Lori Rose Benson, executive director and CEO of Hip Hop Public Health.
Photo by Ronnie Wright
So far the pop-up site has provided hundreds of much-needed vaccines to residents as young as 16 and as old as 90, and the initiative is expected to operate every weekend through the end of May. Those interested can email the Wellness Center for scheduling and additional information.