Sen. Akbari, Rep. Camper help launch ‘Mask Up and Live Memphis’ challenge to combat spread of Covid-19

Tennessee Senate Democrats
3 min readJun 22, 2020


MEMPHIS—Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis) and House minority Leader Rep. Karen Camper (D-Memphis) are joining the “Mask Up and Live Memphis” campaign to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

Sen. Raumesh Akbari (left) with Kandace Stewart of the Memphis Grizzlies front office.

Wearing a facial covering in public places is a proven way to limit new coronavirus infections.

“Wearing a mask shows that you respect the people around you,” Sen. Akbari said. “A mask honors their right to live and to be healthy, and that’s why everyone should mask up.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, African Americans have been getting infected and dying at disproportionate rates. In Memphis and Shelby County, close to 65 percent of Covid-19 fatalities and 63 percent of cases are African Americans.

Meanwhile, Covid-19 infections in Tennessee are spiking.

Rep. Camper and Sen. Akbari are joining the campaign to help set the record straight: wearing a mask will save the lives of Black Memphians.

Rep. Karen Camper, House Democratic Leader

“We must take unprecedented measures because we are living through unprecedented times. And the keyword is living,” Rep. Camper said. “When we limit exposure and wear a mask, we protect our families — especially our seniors — who are so very vulnerable to this disease. I am so very proud to be part of the Mask Up and Live team and encourage you to join with us in making sure everyone has a mask and wears it.”

The Mask Up and Live Memphis campaign consists of:

  • #MaskUpMemphis Social Media Challenge — Leaders are asking Memphians to upload selfies to social media showing off their masks including the hashtag #MaskUpMemphis. The goal is to show that it is commonplace to wear masks right now to improve public health.
  • Mask Giveaways—Mask Up and Live Memphis will provide masks to residents that may not be able to afford one but want to do their part to be safe. Free mask pick-up and donation drop-off locations include: Memphis public libraries; MATA bus terminals; Southbrook Town Center; Pressure World; Lisa Akbari, The Hair Doctor; and Teaching Youth Entrepreneurship.
  • — The campaign is also launching an informational website to highlight the importance of mask-wearing, how to wear a mask, and where to obtain a mask for free. The site will also provide information on where to get tested and other safety tips.

Several organizations are involved with this effort, including the City of Memphis, Memphis Grizzlies, MATA and the Ambassadors of Memphis.

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