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Executive Director Letter 2/1/22

Executive Director Letter

February 1, 2022

Celebrating Black History Month with a Commitment to Community-Cherry Hill Cares

Long-standing systemic health and social inequities have put the predominantly African-American Cherry Hill community at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 regardless of age or social status. GBCA is proud to announce its role in Cherry Hill Cares (CHC), a partnership with the Youth Resiliency Institute (YRI) and The Cherry Hill Community Coalition (CHCC). CHC is harnessing the power of the arts in amplifying voice, identity, and culture at both the individual and community level to help keep families well and lessen the impact of health care disparities, which have been particularly acute during the current pandemic in the Cherry Hill community.

Cherry Hill Cares has four campaign objectives:

● Amplify Black artistry in Cherry Hill by creating customized Cherry Hill Cares campaign products with visual art created by Cherry Hill-based artists that succinctly honors the joys and complexities of the Black experience in Cherry Hill.

● Increase awareness of CDC guidelines to help slow the spread of COVID-19 through visual art mediums.

● Install hand sanitizer stations that are customized by Cherry Hill artist(s), at high traffic locations in Cherry Hill.

● Deliver customized “care packs'' to 200 Cherry Hill Community Elders that include:

○ Customized hand sanitizers.

○ Customized masks and filters.

○ Customized COVID-19 health Tips infographic.

○ Customized reusable shopping totes.

Cherry Hill Cares will also promote Covid-19 prevention through the creation of posters and flyers designed by YRI cultural arts youth organizers residing in Cherry Hill. Organizers hope their efforts will help to reduce coronavirus infection rates, facilitate collaboration with members of the Cherry Hill community throughout the design process, amplify the work of artists residing in Cherry Hill using the branding features of the hand sanitizer stations, and facilitate a more inclusive dialogue addressing community engagement and health and wellness in the Cherry Hill community. Cherry Hill Cares is a perfect example of how arts and culture can be essential tools for building healthy communities

“Combating the spread of COVID-19 is a major concern in our community that requires the distribution of good information, creative ideas for effectively addressing the need to reduce infection rates, and the involvement of all its citizenry, especially our youth,” said CHCC chair Peggy Jackson-Jobe. “Cherry Hill Cares checks all these boxes as they use the talents of our artists to create hand sanitizer stations throughout the community. This promotes both community pride and wellness.”

“Since 2010, the Youth Resiliency Institute has introduced community members of all ages living in Cherry Hill to high quality arts engagement,” said Hill. “Today, Youth Resiliency Institute cultural arts organizers are able to immediately respond to community needs by tapping into city-wide partnerships and neighborhood-based relationships fostered through over a decade of culturally responsive community arts engagement in historic Cherry Hill.”

We are so grateful to our campaign funders, which include the Mitzvah Fund for Good Deeds at the Baltimore Community Foundation and generous contributions from private donors.

Stay warm and healthy,


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