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2020 Census: State of Black Tulare County two town halls to do virtual chat on total Black health

Community advocates from Tulare County talk issues of health across several genres

By The ONME Newswire

As the progressive California 2020 Census movement across the state has come to an abrupt slow-down, ethnic media outlets and organizations are being creative in finding alternative ways to reach their designated hard-to-count populations.

The African-American Museum Historical & Cultural Museum of the San Joaquin Valley (AAHCMSJV), founded by the late Tulare, CA native, Sgt. Jack Kelley, has been a part of the progressive 2020 Census campaigning to reach African-American hard-to-count or reach populations throughout the Central Valley, thanks to the help of Tulare Complete Count Committee, Sierra Health Foundation and other partnering grassroots community groups, individuals and organizations.

After performing a series of 2020 Census related-events throughout Fresno County under the Sierra Health Foundation's San Joaquin Valley Fund, the AAHCMSJV was ready to move forward to Tulare and Merced counties, until COVID-19 hit sharply, unexpectedly.

Museum operations director and project manager Gregory Melancon was more than concerned about the physical events postponed indefinitely--they had planned mini-concerts and town halls for those areas, which were supposed to take place at the end of March.

"I thought it was over, " said Melancon. "I wasn't sure what we were going to do; we were on a roll at first until all this happened. Luckily we have creative partners and individuals we work with to help us through this crisis situation at our facility and pandemic at the same time."

The digital media outlet, The ONME Network, partnered with the AAHCMSJV to bring its events, projects and campaigns into virtual reality in the hopes to assist with the California 2020 Census progressive movement. ONME News and its affiliates, already a statewide-media partner with the California 2020 Census, has specialized in online media distribution and marketing for over 10 years; such an opportunity was an easy solution for the media team to manage for the African-American Museum at an exceptionally discounted rate.

"As long as they can handle all the online technology stuff, I told them, we can do our continued outreach with our other partners and organizations by phone," said Melancon.

Tulare Complete County Committee Chair Barbara Pilegard, Tulare County Association of Governments Principal Regional Planner Roberto Brady, The AAHCMSJV and ONME came up with online and offline unique solutions to reach the African-American hard-to-count communities in Tulare County, without having physical contact with Tulare County residents.

"We still have our plug-and-play TV dongles we have used for our ONME local channel and national AMPTV channel," said ONME News publisher Julia Dudley Najieb and AAHCMSJV volunteer board member. "This used to be a cumbersome strategy we used over five years ago for African-American residents who did not have cable TV to watch our programming, nor did they have access to watch us online. It was the perfect fit to reach African-Americans without having to be in their presence."

So on top of streaming live the upcoming town halls, the State of Black Tulare County Thurs., April 23 and Thurs., April 30th from 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM, viewers who are a part of the faith-based organization and church representatives featured as the trusted messenger during the broadcast, can reach out to these leaders to obtain an ONME plug-and-play TV device if they have no access to the internet. The dual device fits comfortably in the latest android phone or in the USB port of a TV. The ONME Network has put up to 12 hours of video content featuring Central Valley African-American events, people, and podcasts, intertwined with 2020 Census information. Viewers can watch embedded 2020 census commercials, podcasts shows and 2020 Census town halls--including the two Tulare County town halls.

Hundreds of these devices will be mailed to Tulare County African-American congregants of the respective faith-based establishments being featured during the broadcast. Tulare County churches and faith-based leaders have also added their video content for congregants they now serve and minister at an online distance.


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