Press Release

Youth leaders launch COVID Social Media Campaign and Memorial/Candlelight Vigil to honor those we lost during pandemic.

San Joaquin County Together Cohort invites all of San Joaquin County to join them in honoring the lives lost during the COVID Pandemic. Young leaders, participating in the San Joaquin County Together cohort, have decided to launch a COVID Memorial event and social media campaign to raise awareness about upcoming budget discussions happening at the City of Stockton and at the County of San Joaquin. It is their hope that their efforts will result in more spending focused on those communities most impacted by the COVID Pandemic, mainly our local LatinX and African American populations.

Campaign Name: Youth Against COVID

Event Details: January 22nd, 7 pm at Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza

Social Media Campaign: June 15th – 22nd

Who Is Hosting: Youth Leaders participating in the SJ CO Media Collaborative through San Joaquin County Together, a local non-profit organization under the PowerPAC non-profit umbrella.

Who Can Participate: Family and friends who lost loved ones in San Joaquin County, as well as family and friends who currently live in San Joaquin County and who would like to honor their deceased, regardless of location, are welcome to participate. In addition, since the ban on communal funerals was county-wide, all who lost a loved one during the pandemic are welcome to participate and submit their loved one’s photo for inclusion.  Here are instructions to submit your loved one’s photo which will be framed and displayed at the memorial:

Ways To Create Your Own Memorial Photo

Self-Design Using Your Own Computer/Phone Tools:

Upload San Joaquin County COVID Banner Here:

Create your own COVID Memorial Photo via our suggested app:

You will need to create your own account for this free app and use the above instructions to download the San Joaquin County Memorial Banner. It’s the easiest and quickest app we found.

Go to Photo Editor, click Import and upload your personal photo you would like to use to honor your loved one and upload the COVID banner. Select your family photo and drag the COVID Banner and place it where you would like. Once everything looks as you want it, click Export and save the file to your computer and then email it to use at [email protected] Please also include in your email the name of your loved one so that it can be read during the memorial.

Use Facebook to create your COVID Memorial Photo:

Facebook Photo Frame Creator

Further details why this campaign and event are important:

1) Equity in COVID Spending

A) To make sure money actually goes to community. Last year, the County spent 70 million on reimbursing law enforcement when the sheriffs refused to enforce COVID Laws. Exactly how did reimbursing our county sheriffs agency for not doing their job benefit community? And what message does that send to the youth of our community?

B) The Feds are telling our local governments that these funds must go towards the wellness of our communities. The most impacted by COVID in San Joaquin County have been Brown and Black folks and thus in order to make sure wellness is best served, contracts need to be assigned to agencies that come from our diverse communities and whom serve their specific community.

C) One of the ways people can take part in budget discussions is by participating in How San Joaquin County Works budget survey. Folks can submit their budget priorities at:

2) Our community’s wellness depends on getting these COVID budgets right. That is our top priority! The adults in control of our local government need to put their personal and political interest aside and do what’s right for the community at large.

3) We all need closure. We all have struggled through this pandemic and all have either friends, family or both who suffered or died during the pandemic.  Many families were denied communal funerals and for those who desire, we wanted to provide them with that opportunity.

To submit a photo to be displayed via social media and at our community’s COVID memorial, please visit If non-tech minded folks want, they can email their photo directly to [email protected] and one of our teams will create the photo for you. Please include 8×5 portrait photo, person’s name and if they passed due to COVID or other purpose. Non-COVID submissions should list “other” for purpose of inclusion. All questions should be directed at the same email.

To schedule an interview with a youth representative of this campaign, contact Nicholas Hatten at (209) 406-6133 or email [email protected]