We previously reported on Oprah Winfrey’s pledge of $10 million toward her COVID-19 relief fund to help communities from cities across the country who have been severely impacted by the viral outbreak. One of the cities was Nashville, Tennessee, which has seen a high rate of COVID-19 cases.
Two of Winfrey’s grant recipients included Bishop Joseph Walker of Mount Zion Baptist Church and Tennessee State University President Dr. Glenda Glover who have both committed themselves to serving their local communities through this public health crisis. The two created NashvilleNurtures, the organization that Oprah’s grant funding went through to get into the hands of over 10,000 Nashville residents in need.With the funds, Walker has been able to provide free services like COVID-19 testings to locals while Dr. Glover has partnered with state initiatives to prepare for students to return to campus in the fall.
“Our church, Mount Zion Church, we recently partnered with the state of Tennessee in providing COVID-19 testing in two locations,” said Walker in an interview with BLACK ENTERPRISE. “It was incredibly successful because these were areas that had not yet been tested. So obviously a lot of folks came through and had the testing. And so that that’s just one of the initiatives that we’ve done. And it was a large scale.”
Both Walker and Dr. Glover have expressed great gratitude for the donation saying Winfrey wanted to make sure the funds reach the people hit hardest in the marginalized areas. “That’s why this gift of hope was so important to the community,” said Dr. Glover.
“[Oprah] wanted to ensure that the individual laid off who were on the front line [in addition] to the folks who [are] working in hotels and the various restaurants, they’re out there working [every day]. [She’s helping the people] make it back to work again…which is to improve the safety and healthcare measures [for the community].”