“Don’t Hesitate, Get the Shot!” health expo aims to reduce vaccine hesitancy

The fair aims to use trustworthy resources, faith and understanding to overcome stigma in communities of color associated with going to the doctor.

Don’t Hesitate, Get the Shot!” is a heath and wellness fair that will tie faith and medicine together to bring awareness and urgency to maintaining a healthy life. The goal is to engage Detroit residents in meaningful conversation and provide them with trustworthy resources.

The free healthcare event hopes to ensure the underserved and over-burdened receive an opportunity for a free check-up of their overall health and welfare. There will be food, live music and a discussion with Bishop John Drew Sheard of the Church of God and Christ.

Malcolm Madison Foundation

Dr. Dion Johnson is the founder and executive director of the Malcolm Madison Foundation, the event’s sponsor. He says it’s important to empower residents with knowledge.

“This brings the community together, because we wanted to get back to finding unadulterated and fact-based education. Our goal was to reduce as much shot hesitancy as possible among our people of color in response to COVID.”

He says the event is also an opportunity for community members to reconvene safely after not seeing each other since the pandemic began.

“This is a great chance to come back out and have some fun.”

Along with healthy conversations and a focus on health screenings, the event will also feature an exercise zone.

Johnson hopes that providing these resources will help break the stigma in the Black community associated with going to the doctor. Considering historic examples like Henrietta Lacks and the Tuskegee Experiment, the event will provide security measures to make sure no personal data is abused or unknowingly distributed.

“There are no politics involved. This is just true information. We all are moms and dads and people who are out there trying to help make sure our children and our family members are safe and secure.”

Johnson says through the health fair extravaganza, he hopes to encourage people to know the facts about their health needs through faith and understanding.

“The goal is to have people you can trust — you can believe in — who understand the science, because God has made every discipline known to mankind, from the engineer to the heart specialist. But if I have a heart attack, I’m not gonna go see the attorney. I’m gonna go and see the cardiologist. I have to believe through faith that there are things out there both to hurt me as well as to heal me. But hopefully there are more people out there, like we’re trying to bring, who are gonna share the right information.”

The event is Saturday July 16, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at Wayne County Community College Northwest Campus.

Listen: Dr. Dion Johnson on what to expect from inaugural health fair


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  • Tia Graham
    Tia Graham is a reporter and Weekend Edition Host for 101.9 WDET. She graduated from Michigan State University where she had the unique privilege of covering former President Barack Obama and his trip to Lansing in 2014.