Gay8 (Gay Ocho), Miami, FL
Gay8 is the largest Latinx LGBT event in the United States, drawing some 80,000 people annually. Held each February on the famous “Calle Ocho” of Miami’s Little Havana, the theme of this year’s Gay8 was “Libertad” (Freedom). The day-long festival included live music, drag performances, LGBTQ+ activist presentations, and a community fair highlighting the important work of the LGBT community across South Florida. The University of Miami Community Engaged Alliance (CEAL) against COVID-19 Disparities partnered with Healthy Little Havana, a cornerstone of the social services landscape in the neighborhood, to provide COVID-19 related outreach to the Latinx sexual and gender minority community. Volunteers across both organizations engaged with over 1200 Latino LGBTQ+ community members, offering virtual information sheets on COVID-19 topics scanned via QR codes present at the CEAL/HLH booth and printed on reusable, CEAL-branded water bottles and shirts. Eligible attendees were also invited to complete the CEAL survey, which will provide invaluable information about COVID-19 vaccine uptake, hesitancy, and misinformation.
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