CHA Deputy Executive Director, Brenda Snowden Downing, to be Featured on Panel Addressing COVID Vaccine Hesitancy in Communities of Color


Cambridge Housing Authority Deputy Executive Director, Brenda Snowden Downing, will take part in a virtual panel discussion co-hosted by the Cambridge Public Health Department and the office of Cambridge Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui on Wednesday, Feb. 23, at 5:30PM, to address COVID vaccine hesitancy among communities of color.

At the start of the pandemic, the Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA) made a pledge to not allow its residents to get left behind. Under the leadership of Downing and Executive Director Michael Johnston, the agency worked hard, and fast, to secure personal protective equipment for residents and frontline staff, coordinated free food distributions at properties, adjusted the service model to ensure continuation of services without interruption, created a tenancy preservation pilot program to further support individuals at risk of losing their housing, regularly sent COVID-19 and vaccine education materials to units, provided gifts for Cambridge youths during the holidays, took a stand against social injustice and racism, and more.

While the past year has been a trying one for many, the Cambridge Housing Authority looks ahead at continuing to be a part of the solution. Just this month, the agency proudly partnered with the Cambridge Public Health Department and the Cambridge Fire Department, respectively, to offer more than 814 CHA residents the opportunity to receive a vaccine during a successful door-to-door effort. By the end of the week, this number will grow to 914.

“We are so thankful that the efforts of the Cambridge Health and Fire Departments have saved our most vulnerable residents from the ordeal of navigating what appears to be a broken system in an effort to be vaccinated. As usual, Cambridge goes a step above.” Executive Director Michael Johnston said.

Also featured on the panel alongside Downing will be Cambridge Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui, Cambridge Public Health Department Chief Public Health Officer Claude A. Jacob, Michael C. Payne of the Cambridge Health Alliance, and Cambridge Police Superintendent Christine Elow.

“We are really looking forward to having this conversation and hearing Brenda’s insights on this important issue, especially given the strong partnership we have had with the Cambridge Housing Authority throughout the pandemic.” Cambridge Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui said.

To register for the virtual event, click here.