Kids in the Spotlight to release CDC Foundation-funded PSA
on World Health Day
LOS ANGELES, Calif.– Former foster youth produced a series of three PSAs to address
misinformation and vaccine hesitancy for their Black and brown peers with Kids in the
Spotlight (KITS). The first of the series launches on April 7th, World Health Day, through
KITS’ TikTok and culminates with a YouTube release of the third PSA on May 1st, the start of
National Foster Care Month.
According to recent data from the CDC, vaccine gaps persist in young communities of color.
30.4% of Black and 37.7% of Hispanic young adults 18 to 49 years old are fully vaccinated
compared to 49.5% of their white counterparts. To close those gaps, KITS’ youth producers
searched for new ways to raise vaccine confidence.
“We have to understand that with COVID19, there are social and cultural issues that
actually intersect with the scientific issues,”
said Ingrid Banks, one of the PSAs’
specialist consultants and Chair and
Associate Professor in the Department of
Black Studies at the University of California,
Santa Barbara. KITS and the PSAs’ four
youth producers, all graduates of the
organization’s media arts education and
vocational training program for foster youth
based in Los Angeles, know the role those
issues play in vaccination rate disparities.
Banks said, “Combatting medical injustice
is just as urgent as the fight against police
brutality in our communities.”
To better understand Black and brown
young adults’ distrust of vaccinations,
producers conducted four listening
sessions with vaccine-hesitant peers.
Addressing structural racism and concerns
like infertility, zombie movies, and the
Tuskegee “Experiment,” the producers
incorporated their learnings into the PSAs’ messaging.
Diane Guzman, one of the youth producers said, “Being part of a
minority community, I understand the hesitancy some might have
regarding the vaccine. I also know that it is our job to become
informed, ask questions, and bring awareness so that we can save
lives, especially of our peers.”
KITS and the producers know peer-to-peer messaging is instrumental to address the public
health needs and concerns of young people of color and other marginalized groups. With
their first-of-its-kind PSA, KITS hopes to influence the public health profession to harness the
power of art and the voices of young creators speaking to their own communities.
“Black and brown youth advocating for communities of color by educating their peers about
health risks and disparities exemplifies leadership and courage,” said Tige Charity, Executive
Director of KITS.
Watch their first-of-its-kind PSA on TikTok now!!
Funding for this effort is made possible through a sub-award from the CDC Foundation and
is part of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services (HHS) financial assistance award totaling $2,500,000.00 with 100
percent funding from CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the authors and do not
necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, CDC/HHS or the U.S.
Government.