Emergency Preparedness and Risk Communication Among African American Churches: Leveraging a Community-Based Participatory Research Partnership COVID-19 Initiative

La Princess C. Brewer, Jennifer Weis, Adeline Abbenyi, Tabetha A. Brockman, Irene G. Sia, Mark L. Wieland, Richard O. White, Chyke A. Doubeni, Gladys B. Asiedu, Clarence Jones, Monisha Richard, Jamia Erickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis has disproportionately affected the African American population. To mitigate the disparities, we deployed an emergency preparedness strategy within an existing community-based participatory research (CBPR) partnership among African American churches to disseminate accurate COVID-19 information. We used the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication framework to conduct a needs assessment, distribute emergency preparedness manuals, and deliver COVID-19-related messaging among African American churches via electronic communication platforms. A needs assessment showed that the top 3 church emergency resource needs were financial support, food and utilities, and COVID-19 health information. During an 8-week period (April 3-May 31, 2020), we equipped 120 churches with emergency preparedness manuals and delivered 230 messages via social media (Facebook) and email. For reach, we estimated that 6,539 unique persons viewed content on the Facebook page, and for engagement, we found 1,260 interactions (eg, likes, loves, comments, shares, video views, post clicks). Emails from community communication leaders reached an estimated 12,000 church members. CBPR partnerships can be effectively leveraged to promote emergency preparedness and communicate risk among under-resourced communities during a pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalPreventing Chronic Disease
Volume17
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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