Members of the 100 Black Men of Knoxville. Photos by Vivian Shipe

By Vivian Shipe

KNOXVILLE, TN — The latest reports show Tennessee is still leading the country with the highest number of covid cases. In Knoxville two schools closed for a week after Labor Day due to the high number of student absenteeism,  the  Knox County school board continues to refuse to enact any type of mask mandates and Bob Thomas, school superintendent announced his retirement. Yet as the storm surges, the army of Faith Leaders who hold a vaccine clinic every week  are looking neither left nor right: still pressing forward in the war on COVID-19.

Gregory Underwood stands and waits his turn for a booster shot.

Part of their their success for the last year and a half has been through relationships. Every week they join hands for the greater good with other community trusted messengers. This week the Faith Leaders Initiative partnered with the 100 Black Men of Knoxville to hold a clinic over the past weekend to offer first and second shots and also the third booster for those with immune system issues.

The clinic was held at the Boys and Girls Club in the heart of the inner city.at a health expo sponsored by the 100 Black Men of Knoxville. Offered  both the Pfizer and Moderna, vaccines, people lined up for their turn to get a shot in the midst of the largest surge of Covid-19 cases not seen since the pandemic began.

The 100 Black Men of Knoxville serves as a catalyst to empower African American and other minority youth. They are a part of their parent organization, 100 Black Men of America  and work to transform the lives of at-risk youth through mentoring, health and wellness, education, and economic development.