ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A non-profit advocacy group for African Americans will use a roughly $1.2 million federal grant to conduct the first statewide report on the health status of Black Alaskans.

The Alaska Black Caucus was one of five organizations to receive federal relief money from the Anchorage Assembly that is earmarked for COVID-19 testing and vaccine outreach.

Celeste Hodge Growden, president of the Alaska Black Caucus, told Alaska Public Media that with the report, “we’ll be able to make recommendations to local and state entities regarding best practices and health-related data collection and reporting by race. That’s huge for us.”

Existing data shows Black Alaskans are less likely to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

“We strongly recommend that you receive this vaccine since people in our community have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. We see this as a way to protect our people, our businesses, and our legacy,” the Alaska Black Caucus says on its website.

Roundtable discussions with local and national health leaders will be planned, as will a COVID-19 summit for Black Alaskans and a health fair on the virus for people of color.

Other plans includes expanding COVID-19 vaccine outreach to people of color being released from prison.