Using the power of music, the “Community Immunity” video series produced by Hip Hop Public Health, an organization founded by Columbia neurologist Olajide Williams, MD, is designed to increase COVID-19 vaccine coverage. The series of five animated videos features the voice of Grammy®-winning rapper and HHPH Advisory Board member Darryl DMC McDaniels of Run-DMC, along with contributions from award-winning producer Artie Green and singer-songwriter Gerry Gunn. Medical oversight was provided by Dr. Olajide Williams, Dr. Melissa Stockwell, and HHPH advisory board member, Dr. Monique Hedmann-Maxey. For those of you not familiar with Hip Hop Public Health, their goal “is to achieve health equity using an innovative array of culturally-tailored media tools designed to improve health literacy.” (Source: https://hhph.org)

“Currently, more than half of adult African Americans have expressed hesitation about the vaccine and have no plans to get vaccinated. Hip Hop Public Health is addressing the mistrust and debunking myths by offering a new series of free, engaging, evidence-based music video resources designed to increase vaccine literacy utilizing the transformative power of art, music and science with the launch of “Community Immunity: A Rap Anthology About Vaccines.”” (Source: https://hhph.org/communityimmunity/)

I applaud this work. The videos are really well done and the content is powerful. This is a great reminder that we need more creativity in our approaches to health literacy and health communication. It makes me think back to the organizations that have designed graphic novel-style publications to address health topics. I’ve written in the past about Waiting for Health Equity, a colorful, easy-to-read graphic novel that sets out to generate meaningful dialogue about the sources of health inequities and inspire action to address them. It was developed by the Center for Health Progress. Their work reminds me of the videos by Hip Hop Public Health.

Check out these videos by Hip Hop Public Health and let me know what you think.

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