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Celebrate Black History MonthBlack history and culture is major a part of the American fabric -- and the school curriculum -- that it's difficult to imagine a time when that wasn't so. Established as Negro History Week in the 1920s by Carter G. Woodson, February was chosen for the celebration because Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln were born in this month. Black History month was extended to a month-long celebration in 1976. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history. During the month of February, 89.1 WEMU will feature programs and activities to commemorate, celebrate, and take opportunity to emphasize the history and achievements of African Americans.

Top State And Local Lawmakers To Discuss COVID Vaccine Skepticism In Virtual Community Conversation

Washtenaw County Democratic Party

"The Racial Roots of Vaccine Skepticism" is what an upcoming virtual roundtable discussion involving several state and local lawmakers is being called.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with State Senator Jeff Irwin and Charles Wilson from the Washtenaw County Health Department about the planned community conversation on the racial roots of vaccine skepticism as part of Black History Month.

An online community forum is planned for this coming Wednesday, February 10, 2021 to talk about “the racial roots of vaccine skepticism.”  The event is part of Black History Month, which is taking place this year in a pandemic as vaccinations have begun against the COVID-19 virus.

Charles Wilson
Credit Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media
Concentrate Media
Charles Wilson from the Washtenaw County Health Department

Charles Wilson with the Washtenaw County Health Department, who is one of the forum participants, says they are committed to making sure all residents are fully informed about the vaccine.

Another forum participant,State Senator Jeff Irwin, says they have a responsibility to help answer questions people might have about the vaccine and says anyone with questions can reach out and ask.

Jeff Irwin
Credit Jeff Irwin / Twitter
Michigan State Senator Jeff Irwin

Senator Irwin also said he is working to make sure Washtenaw County receives its fair share of vaccines to accommodate the people who have already qualified to receive one.

Michigan Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist, along with Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive for the state, are also participating, as well as 12th District Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and state representatives Felicia Brabec and Ronnie Peterson.

It is scheduled to begin at 7 PM and will be viewable on Senator Irwin's Facebook page, as well as elsewhere.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu

Lisa Barry was a reporter, and host of All Things Considered on 89.1 WEMU.
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