Cuyahoga County held a grand opening for its new Diversion Center on a bright, chilly morning in early May. One by one, elected officials, judges and politicians stepped up to the podium to sing its praises. Outside the tent where the politicos were seated, leaders from Greater Cleveland Congregations, a faith-based group wearing bright yellow shirts, stood in the back and cheered.
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Black churches in Cleveland have played host to regular vaccination sites since February, through an initiative started by the Greater Cleveland Congregations’ (GCC) interfaith coalition. They’re trying to address a serious problem: Vaccinations for Black residents in Cuyahoga County have consistently lagged behind vaccinations for white residents.