On the latest episode of Basic Black, host Callie Crossley is joined by four experts to look at vaccine equity. The COVID-19 vaccine rollout has not gone as planned, with delays and technical issues disproportionately impacting communities of color, which are looking for answers and assistance. There is still apprehension within the Black and brown community about getting the vaccine. State Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz, Representative Liz Miranda, and others have proposed a bill to achieve parity.

Guests on tonight's show include Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz, Suffolk 2nd District; Rep. Miranda, Suffolk 5th District; Dr. Charles Anderson, M.D., MPH, MBA, President and CEO of the Dimock Center; and Atyia Martin, Black Boston COVID-19 Coalition CEO, and Founder of All Aces, Inc. The group will discuss what is needed to achieve parity, equity and access in vaccine distribution, additional ways to get the word out, and what more can be done.

Sen. Chang-Díaz weighed in on the need to reconfigure the statewide benchmarks by which Mass. judges the effectiveness of its vaccine rollout, saying that, "Being better than awful is still bad. We have to choose the right benchmark. What I am saying is that we need to benchmark ourselves to where the infection rates are the highest in Massachusetts. I think this is an intuitive measure for people that where the most people are getting sick is where we should be putting most of our effort for vaccination.”

And that means focusing those efforts on marginalized communities and holding the government accountable, according to Miranda. “I’ll be the first to tell you that we must be held accountable for when we don’t do the right things right," she said. "We have to work together all across the Commonwealth to make sure there is vaccine equity, not vaccine equality — and that’s an important piece.”

Miranda added that the bill she and Chang-Díaz have proposed would “create a mobile vaccination program, mandate free COVID-19 testing at each gateway city, and direct resources to increasing access to vaccines in communities of color and regions of the state that don’t have a nearby mass vaccination site."

Learn more about Basic Black and watch past episodes here.