Philadelphia Alumnae Hosts MLK Day Red Sofa Community Conversation


Submitted by: Leslie Marant, Physical and Mental Health Committee Co-Chair, and Marvetta Coleman, Social Action Co-Chair

The Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter (PAC) of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated hosted a virtual “On The Red Sofa Community Conversation” on MLK, Jr. Day of Service, Jan. 18, 2021. The PAC Social Action Committee together with the Physical and Mental Health Committee organized a community-wide forum and panel discussion entitled:

“The COVID-19 Vaccine: What does it mean for the Black Community?”  

In partnership with The Philadelphia Black Clergy, 234 virtual attendees received greetings from the PAC President, Dr. Penny Sparks Nixon, Reverend Robert Collier, the President of the Philadelphia Black Clergy organization and the PAC committee chairs.

The panel was moderated by Physical and Mental Health Committee Co-Chair Leslie Marant. Panelists included Pediatric and Adult Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Allison Agwu, of John Hopkins Medical School; Co-founder of the National Science and Technology News Service, Dr. Caleph Wilson; Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley; Pennsylvania State Senator and Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Vincent Hughes; licensed clinical trials expert, Jacqueline Shaw; Philadelphia Department of Health Immunization Program Manager Amber Tirmal and Pennsylvania State Senator Art Haywood.

In addition to providing a wealth of information, the panelists answered many questions posed during the session by attendees. Prior to the panel discussion, participants were asked to complete a two-question virtual survey.

1. Do participants believe they have enough knowledge to make an informed decision to take or decline a COVID-19 vaccine? 

2. Do participants plan to take the vaccine? 

Initially, only 48% of respondents stated that they felt sufficiently knowledgeable to make an informed decision.  Seventy-five percent of participants planned to take the vaccine when available to them.   After the discussion, the same two poll questions were presented to determine participants’ post-discussion knowledge.  A whopping 94% of respondents reported that due to the information learned from the panelists they felt sufficiently knowledgeable to make an informed decision.  A significant number of respondents reported that they changed their mind about the vaccine as a result of attending the discussion. Attendees’ responses overwhelmingly demonstrated that the MLK, Jr. Day of Service, virtual “On The Red Sofa: COVID-19 Community Conversation” panel discussion, entitled “The COVID-19 Vaccine: What Does it Mean for the Black Community,” was an impactful community awareness and engagement program.  


Submitted by: Leslie Marant, Physical and Mental Health Committee Co-Chair, and Marvetta Coleman, Social Action Co-Chair The Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter (PAC) of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated hosted a virtual “On The Red Sofa Community Conversation” on MLK, Jr. Day of Service, Jan. 18, 2021. The PAC Social Action Committee together with the Physical and …

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