Fire Department Partners With Heralded Filmmaker To Promote Vaccination Information To Residents

Crystal Emery. Photo by Taea Thale.

News release:

The New Haven-based nonprofit URU The Right to Be, Inc. is expanding its novel coronavirus-fighting activities to Bridgeport where it will be partnering with the Bridgeport Fire Department to prevent the spread of the invisible fire of COVID-19. The collaboration with the Bridgeport Fire Department is part of URU’s transformative Our Humanity initiative, a COVID-19 education and prevention effort specifically aimed at reaching Black, Hispanic and Indigenous communities. Messaging addresses vaccine awareness and hesitancy, reinforcing measures for keeping communities safe against the virus.

On Tuesday, April 13, at 10 a.m., the organizations will kick off their collaboration by unveiling oversized COVID-19 safety banners in English and Spanish at the Bridgeport Fire Department Station 7 (245 Ocean Terrace, Bridgeport, Connecticut 06605). Bridgeport Fire Department Chief Richard Thode, Assistant Chief Lance Edwards and Our Humanity creator Crystal R. Emery a Connecticut-based filmmaker and STEM advocate who is also a quadriplegic fighting two serious diseases, will be on-hand for the ceremony.

“Our firefighters are always on the frontlines–even before the pandemic. So it’s no surprise that we can also count on them to be on the frontlines when it comes to saving lives in the fight against COVID-19,” said Emery, whose father was one of the first Blacks to integrate the New Haven Fire Department. “We are excited to partner with the Bridgeport Fire Department to inform our community about the importance of getting vaccinated.”

The new partnership will see eight Bridgeport firehouses become activated as community hubs for disseminating Our Humanity’s COVID-19 prevention materials, bringing life-saving information on the pandemic to people at trusted fire stations in their own neighborhoods. The risk communication messaging in English and Spanish addresses the importance of getting vaccinated. Additional Our Humanity messaging will also be displayed on buses and bus stops reinforcing ongoing prevention measures and vaccine awareness. Our Humanity is also working with a network of community partners in Bridgeport, including Comunidad Davina (Davina Community), Christian Revival Church, Bridgeport Manantial de Vida Iglesia del Nazareno (Spring of Life Church of the Nazarene) and the Bridgeport Public Schools among others, to display risk communication messaging that encourages people to get vaccinated and reinforces prevention measures.

Our Humanity has been working for nearly a year to provide Connecticut residents with COVID-19 prevention and awareness information at home. Utilizing videos, Instagram Live chats and national Town Halls (in English and Spanish), the organization has been giving communities of color access to accurate information on the novel coronavirus from medical professionals that look like them. With its new partnership with the Bridgeport Fire Department–and earlier alliance with the New Haven Fire Department as well as its bus campaign in several Connecticut cities–the nonprofit is working to bring vital information to people where they travel interact in their daily lives.

For more information Our Humanity, visit

For additional information on Our Humanity, visit Follow URU on Instagram at @urutherighttobe for the weekly interviews and on Twitter and Facebook at @urutherightobe for updates. Visit to sign up and be notified about upcoming town halls.

A 501(c)(3), the mission of URU is to foster communication and understanding among diverse people by utilizing, discovering and applying tangible multimedia solutions at the intersection of the arts, humanities, science and technology. URU’s goal is to move all stakeholders toward a more equitable and humane world. Because the human condition is complex, and people are multidimensional, it understandably takes a multimedia approach to engage them, especially given their constant bombardment with information. Through a unique approach that involves lowering peoples’ defense mechanisms and meeting them where they are, URU continues to be successful in its mission to help people find their commonalities and work together.


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