Howard University & CDC Foundation

Project REFOCUS Marketing Research


Historically marginalized and vulnerable populations were hit especially hard during the COVID-19 pandemic. Howard University and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Foundation partnered with University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) to lead national research on a racial equity initiative called Project REFOCUS. The goal was to create an effective public health response and understanding of COVID-19 related stigma in communities throughout the United States disproportionately impacted by the global pandemic.


SRB led marketing research, branding, messaging and creative work for the yearlong public education campaign that started during the pandemic and is ongoing through 2023. SRB identified 250+ marginalized respondents which lead to conducting 25 focus groups with community leaders and key informants.


The research helped formulate strategy, messaging, content and creative for a health communications campaign, which included a website, anecdotal quotable graphics and fact sheets.

In December 2021, SRB Communications won a National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Salute to Excellence Award in the "PR & Marketing Campaigns - Online Media" category for Project REFOCUS. NABJ recognizes projects, campaigns, initiatives and more that best covers the Black experience or addresses issues affecting the worldwide Black community. This award recognized the qualitative research, website content, creative development and execution of the national COVID-19 disparity campaign.

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