One of the teams of navigators of the Knoxville Area Urban League partnering with New Directions Health Care Solutions to provide shots during a recent festival. Photo by Vivian Shipe

By Vivian Shipe

KNOXVILLE, TN — It’s an uphill battle that has not stopped. The virus is still here as the country moves into the third Fall of COVID. The need to get people vaccinated has taken on even more urgency as the flu season and the uptick of the new covid variants move into the Fall. The men and women in the ALL!N orange vests seen around Knoxville, Tennessee since the spring representing the Urban League have stepped up their efforts to get ahead of any surge that cooler temperatures may bring. 

The ALL!N project, part of the national initiative by the National Urban League to close the vaccine gap has resulted in the organization sending out “navigators” to educate and do outreach in communities of color. From libraries to laundramats from festivals to fairs, the teams in Knoxville have partnered with other organizations including the health department to set up vaccine clinics at events around the city and county, even doing pop up events, phone banking and have even done text messaging; all with one mission — to dispel, myths and fears, answering objections, and provide opportunities to get the vaccine by bringing it to the people.

The war is not over – the battle continues.