Iman heads new campaign for vaccine equity, calls on global leaders

Iman recently stunned at the Met Gala. It has been a while since we have seen Iman in the public eye but she never disappoints. Iman, who was a Somalian refugee at the age of 16, is the driving force behind a new global initiative for vaccine equity as the Global Advocate for CARE. The initiative sees Iman and 70 “influential artists and entertainers” calling on global leaders to ensure that 70% of the world’s population is vaccinated by the end of 2022. The list of entertainers include Tony Goldwyn (yes, that Mr. President), Anne Hathaway, Richard Gere, Ciara, Eva Longoria and many more. Below are a few more details from People:

In the letter, the famous activists emphasized the fact that “only 2% of people in low-income countries have received a single dose, leaving the world’s most vulnerable to face COVID with no protection” and called on world leaders to help developing countries get the resources necessary to vaccinate their population.

Speaking about her role at CARE, Iman tells PEOPLE exclusively, “The Global Advocate role was specifically created for me back in 2019, and I’ve been honored ever since to continue to amplify and strengthen CARE’s ongoing work, and ultimately, use my platform to fight for meaningful — and lasting — change.”

“As a Somali refugee, I’ve felt drawn to helping advocate for human rights and the safety and security of people around the world. There’s this very real and natural connection to the work CARE is doing and my existing passions.”

She continues, “I became a refugee at age 16 and I am committed to bettering future generations of women especially those in developing nations. Without [non-governmental organizations] like CARE, my life trajectory would likely be very different and my role as a Global Advocate is how I pay it forward and express my sincere gratitude for the critical work the organization is doing around the globe.”

Iman explains that coronavirus “disproportionately affects the most vulnerable” population, like “refugees and forcibly replaced” people who have already endured natural disasters and wars. “Now, they’re facing this devastating pandemic,” she says.

“We must think of future generations and ensure a global response aimed at recovery. Here, in the United States, we are fortunate to have the necessary resources and infrastructure readily available.” the activist says. “I’m a firm believer in the dignity of all people and this pandemic has shown us that we’re stronger, better, and healthier when we come together and share resources.”

[From People]

The numbers that Iman provides for underdeveloped nations are appalling. Less than 2% of the poorest countries are vaccinated and we wonder why COVID is still spreading. These wealthier nations should be breaking their necks to make sure citizens around the world have access to the vaccine. Especially if they are squawking about reopening their borders for traveling purposes and cash flow. I love how Iman is using her own experience as a refugee to help others. And I also love the fact that CARE (an organization I am just now learning about) created the position of Global Advocate specifically for Iman. I hope that initiatives like CARE and Global Citizen Live will help the most vulnerable global citizens get access to vaccinations. To keep everyone safe from this virus, 70% of the world’s population needs to be vaccinated. I will definitely be following this story to see the impact and outcome. It is great that all of these high profile names signed on to this initiative but I would like to see more celebrities from other countries as well. We are all in this together and I am happy to see people like Iman leading the charge.


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11 Responses to “Iman heads new campaign for vaccine equity, calls on global leaders”

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  1. MrsBump says:

    The covax program is not yet a failure but till now it has failed. So far all that rich countries have done is pledge to donate vaccines, they have fallen very far from the promised numbers.
    I come from a small african country, the only vaccines that we have had access to is the chinese ones for which data on efficacy is scarce. My father who is in his mid seventies and suffering from severe liver disease isn’t cleared to take it as no one knows if how he would react to it. He was finally given his first shot of astra zeneca a week or so ago and he had to queue for hours to get it. It’s infuriating !
    I appreciate the celebrities highlighting this, but the song and dance concerts gives us living the west a false sense of accomplishment when the reality is SO different on the ground. We are not all in this together, some are more equal than others

    • GraceB says:

      I completely agree with this, and it’s similar to something I commented a few days ago. These flashy events and photo ops almost distract from the matter, rather than call attention to it. It becomes all about the celebs, rather than the work which is being done or needs to be done. People go away talking about them, not the issue. News articles are written about them and will barely mention the issue they’re highlighting.

      I’m not sure what the answer is, but I think we often overestimate the power of celebrities and their platforms.

      In the west, I feel like we spend far too much time disassociating with what is really going on in the world, and I will probably get slated for saying this, but also a lack of empathy for those who don’t live according to western values.

      It’s shocking that their target is 70% by the end of 2022. Surely it should be 70% by the end of this year.

    • Anners says:

      Mrs Bump you’re not wrong – we like to talk about being united in this, but some people have always been (and it feels like they always will be) more equal than others.

      I’m sorry. I feel pretty helpless in this, but will see if I can reach out to my premier’s and prime minister’s offices. I get looking after your own needs first (airplane mask style), but once vaccinations got rolled out pretty well, we need to be better at looking around and seeing who else desperately needs help. Sending you and your family all the positive and safe vibes.

    • Likeyoucare says:

      Hopefully more will get vaccinated in your country soon.
      Don’t worry about the chinese vaccine (sinovac) as I am also took that one. Most people age 50 and below in my country took that vaccine.
      As pfizer are specifically for old people, people who have medical problems, pregrant woman or kids below 18.

  2. Duch says:

    I know we’re not talking about the fashion, but geesh, how heavy and unwieldy must that headdress be?!

    Nice this news was released shortly after the Met Ball and she’s re-established herself – stunningly- in the public eye. Good on her.

    • EllenOlenska says:

      I’m betting that’s why she went…she knew it would draw attention to the program when she announced her participation. Think about it, the most recent photo people have will be this one. (And hopefully she had a nice time at the ball too!) I have always seen her to be thoughtful and strategic when she wants to bring awareness to a cause…in a good way.

  3. Liz version 700 says:

    The numbers of vaccine inequality in other counties os appalling….even more so when people here in the US refuse to get them

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ Liz version 700, that’s the most sickening part of this entire tragedy!! We have some people in the US that are too selfish, ignorant and utterly disgusting when people around the world are begging for just any access to the vaccination. I am either becoming jaded at my age or have been more optimist about Americans in my own country. Either way, it’s disgusting and utterly repulsive as we see those who are desperate and are losing their lives while they squander their opportunity only because they won the lottery in rank of birth place.

  4. BothSidesNow says:

    I have always been captivated by Iman, since her performance in Out of Africa. She had a presence that was captivating that was visible even on screen.

    On a side note, this was featured yesterday morning and the lengths that HC workers are going to vaccinate is eye opening, to me at least. I am so appreciative that not only did CARE create this position specifically for Iman, but her use of this platform seems as a passion that she has always wanted to utilize and speak on behalf of others that she has a personal experience to.

  5. Stacy Dresden says:

    Iman is heavenly

  6. Chelsea says:

    I dont think i ever knew that she was a Somali refugee. It’s a great to see her use her platform to be a voice for and protect the most vulnerable whose stories and struggles she understands so well. Though i do agree with you that i wish there were more celebrities from other countries involved involved because while the US is very obviously not perfect of the Western world we lead in donating doses of the vaccines while many countries like the UK and Germany have done nowhere near their fair share and it’d be good if there were more high profile people in those countries pushing the conversation on these issues. (Though Sabrina Elba did a fantastic job of pushing the issue last night at Global Citizen)