Vaccine mistrust within the Black community is a product of historical racism and discriminatory experiences. The cycle of mistrust may be passed on to youth within our community if they are not provided with accurate information to inform decision-making. The Encouraging Vaccine Confidence (EVC) Initiative aims to provide the information necessary for youth (and their parents/guardians) to be able to make educated decisions around COVID-19 vaccination. It will also empower the youth to act as knowledge-brokers to other members of their family and to their community by sharing information about viruses and vaccination.

The EVC Initiative aims to educate about 800 English and French youth across Nova Scotia on the history of viruses and the importance of vaccination by presenting hands-on activities to youth to explain (1) the biological mechanism of viruses, (2) how vaccines combat contraction of viruses, and (3) how social distancing and wearing a mask help to reduce viral spread.

One-and-one-half-hour (1.5hr) sessions are offered free of charge, at school sites and community centres, by Mentors of African heritage. Our all-star team of fully-vaccinated Mentors have backgrounds in Nursing, Virology, Immunology, Health Promotion, Psychology and Engineering–bringing their collective skills to educate youth during this pandemic. All participants receive take-home appreciation bags containing hand sanitizer, a face mask, hand wipes, candy, and an information brochure.

For more information on participating in or booking a focus group or activity session at your school or community centre, contact Ms. Haley Matthews, EVC Project Manager/Lead Developer, by email at or by phone at 902-494-2400 or Toll-free: 1-866-996-9452