Skip Navigation
Toward Racial Justice

TRJ Continues with a Look at COVID-19, Trust and Vaccines

WITF’s series of virtual community conversations hosted by Charles Ellison addressing systemic racism and injustice in Central Pennsylvania and beyond continues Thursday, February 18 at 7pm on WITF’s YouTube Channel.

People of color have accounted for a disproportionate share of COVID-19 cases and deaths across the country. Paired with generations of systemic medical racism and predatory experimentation on Black and brown bodies, many have formed a broad distrust of our health care system. Studies also show that Black Americans continue to stand out as less inclined to get vaccinated than other racial and ethnic groups despite science proving COVID-19 vaccines are both safe and effective.

Join us as we explore some of the racial disparities within the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ll also look at the hesitancy regarding vaccines in Black and Brown communities as well as tackle the myths and misconceptions revolving around the COVID-19 vaccine.

Panelists are:

Rev. Dr. Brenda Alton
Rev. Dr. Brenda Alton — System Manager of Spiritual Care Services at UPMC Pinnacle
Read her bio here.

Dr. Marilyn McPherson-Corder
Dr. Marilyn Corder — pediatrician; Chief of Staff at United Medical Center in Washington, D.C.; adjunct faculty/fellow at Howard University School of Medicine; and member of the National Medical Association

Dr. Eugene Curley
Dr. Eugene Curley — Infectious Disease Physician at WellSpan Health
Read his bio here.

Anika Jackson
Anika Jackson — Director of New Initiatives at Family First Health in York
Read her bio here.

Dr. Mary Kelleher
Dr. Mary E. Kelleher — Chief Medical Officer, Berks Community Health Center
Read her bio here.

Dr. Ivan Walks
Dr. Ivan Walks — Former Chief Medical Officer for the District of Columbia and Principle Founder of Ivan Walks & Associates

Register to Attend

Thursday, February 18 at 7pm
Streamed LIVE on WITF’s YouTube Channel

Supported by Capital BlueCross

Capital BlueCross logo
Share your personal experiences or ask questions that we can address during this conversation. Email us at or share your story using #RacialJusticePA.

Our goal is to elevate underrepresented voices with special emphasis on giving young people a platform to discuss their views. Race and racism are uncomfortable topics. Our objective is to help serve as a catalyst for change by bringing people together to discuss possible solutions and inspire collective action.

The committee of co-organizers include:

  • Jankail Adams — Parent Liaison for the PA State GEAR UP-3 program, Harrisburg School District
  • Sharia Benn — President & Executive Artistic Director of Sankofa African American Theatre Company
  • Corey Dupree — Chief Operating Officer at The Bridge: Eco Village in Harrisburg
  • Stephanie A. Jirard — Chief Diversity Officer & Professor of Criminal Justice at Shippensburg University
  • Mark Rhodes — Diversity Educator and Strategist, Owner of Key Learning Consultants and a Commissioner with the City of York Human Relations Commission
  • Delma Rivera-Lytle — Diversity Education Specialist at Central York School District
  • Major Kristal M. Turner-Childs — Director, Bureau of Forensic Services, Pennsylvania State Police & WITF Board Member

The entire conversation will be live streamed and recorded so those unable to attend can watch, listen and share. Visit to watch past conversations and find additional resources.

Join us Thursday, March 4 at 7pm on WITF’s YouTube channel as we explore inequities within Pennsylvania’s education funding system.

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Up Next

THE GENE Screening Event Explores the Genetic Revolution Transforming Medical Science