Disproportionate Distribution and Barriers to Access Among Marginalized Communities Propelled CORE to Rally Community Experts to  form Alliance and Execute the Equity-Focused Campaign  

Continuing their efforts to proactively address inequity in COVID-19 vaccine distribution and eliminate barriers to reaching the city’s most vulnerable populations, CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) has formed a coalition of strategists and community leaders to launch a vaccination awareness and acceptance campaign aimed at reaching Los Angeles’s hardest hit communities, including Latino, Black and Asian American and Pacific Islander populations. The initiative, IT’S TIME LOS ANGELES, is a multiplatform campaign built by LA-based multicultural marketing firm AEM (American Entertainment Marketing) that aims to increase the rate of vaccinations for the city’s most vulnerable and hard-to-reach communities.

As California has opened vaccine availability to people age 16+, CORE anticipates the potential for increased confusion and misinformation around how people can gain access to vaccines. The multicultural and multilingual initiative of IT’S TIME LOS ANGELES will connect and empower people of color with cultural relevance, authenticity and accuracy on the need to receive life saving vaccinations by providing information on available resources, including CORE’s mass vaccination sites, walk-up sites and fleet of mobile units, to help ensure a safe and equitable distribution of vaccines. The integrated campaign includes a public service announcement, digital/social media, microsite, public relations and community outreach. The campaign will reach diverse communities and include information in languages including English, Spanish, Mandarin, Korean and Vietnamese.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been working in close partnership with the City of Los Angeles and LAFD to protect Angelenos from the devastating impact of COVID-19,” said CORE Co-Founder and CEO Ann Lee. “Our teams come from and work alongside diverse communities across LA to provide them with the relief they need through trust and breaking down cultural and language barriers, as well as technology and transportation roadblocks. Our priority is the equitable distribution of vaccines, and the most significant obstacle is often information. Breaking down this barrier requires working within existing community infrastructure and trusted leaders — and that’s exactly what we’ve set out to achieve with IT’S TIME LOS ANGELES. We are excited to rally this robust alliance of community experts to lead the charge of this collaborative and inclusive initiative.”

“As eligibility opens up in California, it’s incumbent upon CORE to bridge the gap of access by increasing awareness among the most vulnerable,” said Lee. “This will allow community members to make an informed decision for themselves about receiving the vaccine. It’s our hope that IT’S TIME LOS ANGELES will help us accomplish this goal and ensure easy access to marginalized communities across the city.”

In launching IT’S TIME LOS ANGELES, CORE and AEM have assembled a coalition of highly visible and respected multicultural leaders and community-based organizations to educate in-language on the urgency to be vaccinated through culturally relevant online and grassroots channels. 

“We are a group of strategists that came together on behalf of the communities we serve; we represent the majority minority and given how much our communities have suffered, we believe a better and stronger LA will require strength, unity and coalition building,” said AEM Founder and President Ivette Rodriguez. “We commend CORE for understanding that to speak to our communities requires a From and For approach.”

“The African American Community has been disproportionately affected by this global pandemic and has been the last to receive the necessary support needed to overcome this devastating disease,” said Danny J. Bakewell, Sr., chairman of Bakewell Media (Los Angeles Sentinel & LAWT) / Founder/Creator of Taste of Soul. “But, as we always have, we will overcome, we will survive.  This starts with getting vaccinated.  There is no doubt, America has earned our distrust and hesitancy to take the vaccine by the years of previous abuse when it comes to medication and testing.  But, this is a new day and the fastest road to our recovery is for everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible.  I have been vaccinated, my family has been vaccinated and I want to encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as the opportunity for you to get vaccinated presents itself.  This is what WE need to do to get healthy and begin the long road to recovery that our community so desperately needs.”

Latinos are hesitant to take a COVID-19 vaccine due to fear, skepticism and mistrust in their communities. CORE recognizes that the voices of trusted community messengers are key to education and awareness in the fight against the pandemic.

“Immigrants, especially the elderly, Spanish-speaking, indigenous communities, and the recently arrived, have faced many challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, including limited access to prevention education, healthcare, relief, and the vaccine. This is why it is time for all to join hands and ensure every family member, friend, co-worker, and neighbor in this great City of Los Angeles is accurately informed, receives prompt health care if sick, and gets the vaccine because we know doing so saves lives. Remember: Your immigration status does not matter when seeking to get vaccinated,” stated Angelica Salas, CHIRLA executive director.

Since the beginning of the vaccine rollout, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – LA, the nation’s largest legal and civil rights organization for Asian American and Pacific Islanders – has worked to ensure equitable vaccine access and distribution, and help LA’s diverse AAPI communities overcome vaccine hesitancy. “It’s so critical to prioritize those community members who often fall through the cracks,” stated Connie Chung Joe, CEO of AAAJ-LA.  “This includes our limited English proficient immigrants, seniors who may face technology challenges, and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders who have been the hardest hit by COVID-related deaths amongst all racial groups. This initiative is so important because it focuses on how to overcome such challenges and provide equitable distribution of the vaccine across all groups.”


By providing in-culture, accurate, data-driven information from trusted sources on the need to receive life saving vaccinations, this multi-platform campaign is aimed at the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach communities gravely impacted by COVID-19 across Los Angeles. The culturally tailored campaign is led by a team of multicultural and multilingual strategists and creatives. The goal is to increase access and the rate of vaccinations to ensure a more equitable outcome for Latino, Black and AAPI communities. Launched by CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) follow us at and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) is a nonprofit organization co-founded by Sean Penn and Ann Lee that is dedicated to saving lives and strengthening communities affected by or vulnerable to crisis. Within hours of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Penn mobilized a powerful network to take immediate action. More than 11 years later, CORE continues to lead sustainable programs focused on four pillars: emergency relief, disaster preparedness, environmental resilience, and community building. The organization has expanded beyond Haiti to support communities in The Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and the United States. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, CORE has been operating free testing sites across the country alongside local partners, providing essential resources and contact tracing services as well as part of its integrated “CORE 8” approach to combat the pandemic. In 2021, CORE is working with its partners nationwide to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines as they become available to the communities the organization serves.

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