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A new campaign was launched recently to provide Black communities with the skills to stop the spread of false and fraudulent health information on social media. “Truth Check,” a national campaign of The Center for Black Health & Equity that’s being led locally by Jump at the Sun Consultants, the Wisconsin African American Tobacco Prevention Network and Wisconsin Tobacco Prevention and Poverty Network, was the focus of the virtual event, “Honor, Restore, and Protect Black Health.” More than 160 individuals turned out virtually on Feb. 23, to get tips on how to identify and put a stop to deceptive information that spreads like wildfire on social media, and instead share vetted information that others can trust.
The event included a panel featuring distinguished health equity leaders from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services: Michelle Robinson, PhD, Director of DHS Office of Health Equity, Diamond Hanson, DrPH, MPH, Outreach Program Manager for the Wisconsin DHS, COVID-19 Response and Recovery Team, and Jasmine Zapata, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer and State Epidemiologist for Community Health at the Wisconsin DHS. They discussed the impact of health misinformation on communities of color and ways to improve your health.
“There are many individuals that are really trying to reduce the health disparities that exist and reduce the systematic biases that can impact care, but in the immediate we all must teach one another how to advocate for ourselves and for our families,” Dr. Hanson said.
Introducing the Truth Check campaign and toolkit were Michael Damond Campbell of Jump at the Sun Consultants and LaTroya Hester, Director of Communications for The Center for Black Health & Equity.
“Because we know that misinformation spreads just like the virus has, it is so important for us to recognize how important we are as influencers in the Black community, how people are looking at us when we post online … and when people see us sharing that content they often make health-related choices based on that information,” Hester said.