Local Media Outlets Host COVID Panel For Black and Latino Communities


A panel of local black and Latino professionals will discuss Covid Vaccine fact and fiction on Thursday, Feb. 11 via livestream and in person at St. Philip AME Church, 613 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

“The COVID Vaccine and You: What Black and Latino Communities Need to Know” is sponsored by the Savannah Morning News, Savannah Tribune, E-93 and Magic 103.9. In-person capacity is limited to 25 people to comply with CDC recommendations. The free event will be livestreamed via Facebook.com/ Savannahnow, Facebook.com/TheSavannahTribune and Savannahnow.com from 6-7:30 p.m. on Feb. 11.

“Covid 19 has disproportionately affected black and Latino communities in this country,” said Rana Cash, executive editor of the Savannah Morning News and one of the organizers of the event. “And we can’t discount the way that infamous incidents like the Tuskegee experiment damaged the medical profession’s reputation in communities of color.

Our diverse panel of doctors, nurses, community activists and educators will address these concerns and provide trustworthy, science-based facts about the Covid-19 vaccine.”

Dr. Bonzo Reddick
Dr. Bonzo Reddick

As part of the Savannah Black Heritage Festival, the public is invited to join this open panel discussion with local medical professionals and historians either in person or virtually.

“If you have questions about the Covid vaccine, you need to attend this event,” Cash said. “With something as important as our health, we can’t rely on rumors and hearsay. Our panel has extensive experience with vaccines and can separate rumor from reality.” Participants:

Daniel Brown participated in the COVID vaccine clinical trials that made the emergency approval of the vaccine possible. He is the account executive for Spinnaker Resorts and is retired as general manager for various automobile dealerships in Savannah. He is also an emeritus member of the 100 Black Men of Savannah.

Dr. Bonzo Reddick, a Savannah native and son of Judge Bonzo and Betty Reddick, is a 1994 graduate of Windsor Forest High School. A graduate of Morehouse School of Medicine, Reddick is a primary care physician at JC Lewis Health Center. He is also on the faculty in the Department of Family Medicine at Mercer Medical School at Memorial.

Dr. Cecil Bennett
Dr. Cecil Bennett

Dr. Cecil Bennett is a family practice physician at Newnan Family Medicine Associates. A graduate of Morehouse School of Medicine, Dr. Bennett has served on the Board of Trustees of the Georgia Academy of Family Medicine. He was a recent presenter for the African American Newspaper organization to warn of the danger of COVID and to provide information on the coronavirus vaccine.

Beatriz Severson is a registered nurse and advocate for Hispanic communities in Savannah. She serves as a community volunteer for the Coastal Georgia Indicators Coalition, Health and Mental Health Teams; the Savannah Prevention Coalition, under the leadership of Beyond the Bell; and HOLA, a task force created by Savannah Mayor Van Johnson.

Tammi Brown works for the Georgia Department of Health as the Chatham County Nurse Manager. She was integral to setting up and managing the successful COVID testing program at the Savannah Civic Center and was among the first people in Georgia to receive the Pfizer vaccine when it became publicly available in the state.

Dr. Karla-Sue Marriott, a scientist and educator, Dr. Marriott has directed, as PI and CoPI, various NIH, NASA and DoD funded projects. She currently serves as PI/PD of the NIH-NIBIB-ESTEEMED program at Savannah State University (SSU) to increase the number of underrepresented researchers pursuing careers in the biomedical sciences. Her ongoing research goals focus on development of therapeutic agents applicable to immune and neurodegenerative disorders and related pathologies.

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