Honoring Martin Luther King’s Legacy by Connecting Communities to Health Coverage

By Derrick Harkins

It is fitting that a quote often heard over the course of the Martin Luther King holiday weekend was this from Dr. King’s 1966 speech to the Medical Committee for Human Rights:  “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”

MLK weekend was an important opportunity to help more Americans gain access to quality, affordable health coverage. With our partners, Enroll America participated in more than 200 events nationwide from January 15 through the federal holiday on January 19. They consisted of phone banks, tabling/information sessions, speaking about health care at worship and commemoration services, and numerous enrollment events.

A few snapshots:

In Atlanta, Enroll collected over 200 commit cards at the Martin Luther King Day parade, which also publicized the enrollment event held later that day in conjunction with Ebenezer Baptist Church, where MLK served as a co-pastor.

Similarly, in Cleveland, the Mt. Zion Congregational Church hosted an enrollment event on Saturday, and heard from Acacia Salatti, the director of the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in the Department of Health and Human Services, during their Sunday morning service.

The theme of public service, which is associated with many of the MLK weekend activities across the country, was an appropriate backdrop for the important work of making sure individuals know their health insurance options, the February 15 deadline, and the financial aid that could be available to them.

There’s still time to get the word out before the end of open enrollment. Check out our Health Care in the Pulpit toolkit for ideas to jumpstart or escalate faith-based outreach around the Affordable Care Act.

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