Webinar participants will leave with practical tips on how to develop and sustain meaningful partnerships between local school districts, Community Based Organizations (CBOs), health departments, and other community groups to reduce COVID-19 and increase equity access to vaccines and health services for school-aged children and their families. Schools continue to play a key role in community health and safety during COVID-19. Utilizing a case study in Dekalb County, Georgia, representatives from the Clarkston Health Equity Coalition will focus on the following themes:
- How to lay the foundation: Community partners’ pre-pandemic efforts to address health barriers in the community; early Coalition actions at the start of the pandemic; and efforts to grow community engagement and trust.
- Practical logistics: Identify key stakeholders and what is needed to set up school vaccination events aligned with CDC protocols during an evolving pandemic.
- Leadership perspectives: Principal Brown-Bryant of Indian Creek Elementary will share how schools can and should be involved within vaccination efforts, and the success behind having “Superhero” themed events.
Suad Ali is a Graduate Research Assistant at Georgia State University’s Prevention Research Center, Connecting Behavioral Science to COVID-19 Vaccine Demand (CBS-CVD) supplemental grant. Her work focuses on increasing vaccine confidence in Clarkston Georgia, which has a large refugee and immigrant population. She is a long-time advocate for the refugee, immigrant, and migrant communities, as well as a small business owner, volunteer and a Master of Public Health graduate student focusing on Health Promotion and Behavior.
Dr. Omar Aziz
Dr. Omar Aziz first came to Georgia through the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program in 2013 with his wife and two children, after living in Dubai for more than 12 years. A dentist in his native Iraq, Dr. Aziz first joined the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Atlanta team as an Arabic interpreter in 2015. In 2017, he began leading the IRC's youth and parental support program for newly arrived refugee families at DeKalb International Student Center, supporting them as they transitioned into the American education system.
Now a naturalized U.S. citizen, Dr. Aziz currently serves as the IRC in Atlanta’s Community Health Response Program Manager, utilizing his ample medical background and overseeing IRC’s partnership with CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) and the DeKalb County Board of Health, and leading our collective COVID-19 vaccination efforts in DeKalb County. To date, Dr. Aziz and his team—comprised entirely of refugee and immigrant community members—have provided over 18,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses and more than 16,000 COVID-19 tests.
Stephanie Brown-Bryant has served as an educator for 25 years. Currently, Mrs. Brown-Bryant is the Principal at Indian Creek Elementary in Clarkston, Georgia. She was raised in Camilla, Georgia where she graduated from Mitchell-Baker High School went on to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Middle Grades Education from Valdosta State University. Her passion for lifelong learning led her to earn two computer science degrees, certifications in leadership and teacher support as well as her gifted endorsement.
Mrs. Brown-Bryant has represented the district as a Yale National Fellow, DeKalb County District-wide Middle School Teacher of the Year, Teacher of the Year at Livsey Elementary and Tucker Middle School as well as Educational Support Specialist of the Year at Hawthorne Elementary. Mrs. Brown-Bryant balances her life with her husband of more than 20 years and two teenage sons. Her diverse instructional experiences include more than 20 years of service in the DeKalb County School District. Her leadership at Indian Creek Elementary prepares approximately 1000 students to be College and Career Ready through enriching and engaging educational opportunities. Mrs. Brown-Bryant believes education removes barriers and provides hope. It is a privilege to help build our future and a nurturing, quality education for our students is the best investment one can give!
Temple Moore, MScOT, MScGHD, manages the Community Health Promotion Program of the Refugee Women’s Network based in Atlanta, Ga. She chairs the Clarkston Health Equity Coalition and runs a Women’s Hiking and Wellness group. Temple holds a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Brenau University and a Master of Science in Global Health and Development from University of College London. She has a certification in Global Mental Health and Refugee Trauma from the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma.
She has designed and implemented psychosocial programming and participatory research with displaced persons in national and international contexts including working with unaccompanied minors and adults via first response, evaluation and academic research and writing. She worked as a clinical occupational therapist in rehabilitation and acute care hospitals, including as part of the clinical research team at the Shepherd Center and in the A&E department of the Royal Free London. She has piloted community-based participatory research in Greece, England, and Indonesia with displaced populations. Her interest is in combining trauma-informed occupational therapy with public health research, innovative programming and storytelling for refugees and other vulnerable populations.
Syreeta is the communications strategist for the National Resource Center for Refugees, Immigrants and Migrants (NRC-RIM). Before joining NRC-RIM, she spent more than a decade leading communications programs for K-12 public schools, specializing in internal communications, digital media, and diverse and multilingual communities. During 2020 she led crisis communications and other efforts related to her school district's COVID-19 response.