The International Association of Methodist Schools, Colleges, and Universities (IAMSCU) issued a Declaration on Global Vaccine Equity on May 17, 2021. This document is the result of IAMSCU’s Global Consultation on Vaccine Equity, held on May 4, 2021, in partnership with the Ecumenical Consultation on Protocols for Worship, Fellowship, and Sacrament, Candler School of Theology, Emory University, and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. The IAMSCU Declaration reaffirms the principles of Wesleyan and Methodist education, urges governments and businesses to support vaccination efforts globally, promotes vaccination equity among its member institutions, and puts into practice the teachings and recommendations of public health, educational, and church leaders.
Dr. Thomas Wolfe, IAMSCU’s President and President of Iliff Theological School in Denver, CO, stated that “the IAMSCU Declaration really reflects the contents of our worldwide consultation and is in alignment with the intentions of our Board of Directors. Now our work begins!” The next steps will include the sharing, distribution, and publicizing of the document to various partners and organizations supporting vaccine equity. The document will be translated in several languages, including Spanish, French, Korean, Portuguese, and Swahili. IAMSCU hopes to implement the ideas proposed in the Declaration by promoting actions involving schools, colleges, theological schools, and universities worldwide. The association will continue to inform its members on how to contribute to vaccine equity and about how to promote joint actions in their local contexts.
IAMSCU’s Global Declaration on Vaccine Equity is the result of a consultation process that brought leaders, public health professional, scholars, and activists from 5 continents to discuss about the worldwide experiences with the global pandemic of COVID-19, consider if new vaccines are available, and discuss ways to promote an equitable distribution of vaccines worldwide. The speakers and participants discussed how educational institutions and healthcare facilities in the Wesleyan and Methodist traditions could promote these goals and contribute to the accessibility of the COVID-19 vaccine worldwide.
Main speakers during the consultation included well known leaders in various parts of the world: Bishop Joaquina Nhanala, MDiv (Mozambique), Dr. Joshua San Pedro, MD (Philippines), Dr. Emmanuel Kodjo Niamkey, MD (Côte d’Ivoire), Dr. James Hildreth, MD, PhD (United States), Dr. Stephen Hendricks, MPH, DMedSc (South Africa), Dr. Young Min Paik, PhD (South Korea), Dr. Diana Sanchez-Bushong, PhD (United States), and Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, Hon. Dr. and Geneva Secretary of the World Methodist Council (Germany).
The consultation also involved participants from many other institutions, health organizations, general agencies, churches, human rights groups, and communities worldwide. A video of the consultation is available here: https://echo360.org/media/9f0eb2d6-a390-470b-8b68-6b9396b8ae82/public.
IAMSCU is a worldwide association connected to more than 1,000 institutions in 80 countries and 5 continents. The association works in partnership with other regional associations dedicated to Methodist education: the African Association of Methodist Institutions of Higher Education (AAMIHE), African Association of United Methodist Theological Institutions (AAUMTI), Asia Pacific Association of Methodist Educational Institutions (APAMEI), Philippines Association of Methodist Schools, Colleges, Universities, and Seminaries (PAMSCUS), Association of Methodist Educational Institutions in India (AMEII), Methodist Theological Seminaries in Europe (MTSE), Methodist Independent Schools Trust (MIST), Methodist Academies and Schools Trust (MAST), Latin American Association of Methodist Educational Institutions (ALAIME), Network of Methodist Theological Institutions in Latin America (REDIME), Association of United Methodist Theological Schools (AUMTS), and the North American Association of Methodist Schools, Colleges, and Universities (NAAMSCU). For more information, please contact IAMSCU: firstname.lastname@example.org