GRIC Launches ‘What’s Your Why” Campaign

Kyle Knox

Gila River Indian News


As the Community continues to work towards getting everyone vaccinated against COVID-19, a new marketing campaign – What’s Your Why? – is encouraging members to think through the benefits of vaccinations and how they can make a difference personally and for others. 


Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis unveiled the campaign – launched by the GRIC Communication and Public Affairs Office – in a video message last week. 


“Each Community member who’s vaccinated gets us one step closer to getting back to our prior activities, cultural events, our ceremonies and our celebrations,” said Gov. Lewis, who challenged members to “think about ‘what’s your ‘why?’” in regards to getting a vaccine. 


The goal of the campaign is to bring the pandemic back to a personal level rather than dwelling on the sickness and death that have been part of many messages and news stories.  Instead, the campaign allows everyone to consider their stake in the fight against COVID and how they can help protect the Community. 


At every Mobile Vaccination Unit event, individuals have been asked that question: What’s your why?  While responses vary, many include attending music festivals, traveling, holding family graduations, parties, or even holding a traditional funeral without limiting attendees.


Currently, the Community’s vaccination rate stands at 41 percent, according to health statistics. “Community Immunity” will be achieved when enough adults and children are vaccinated to stop or slow the spread of COVID-19. According to health care officials, group immunity at this level would also protect those who cannot be vaccinated, such as newborns, some elders, youth 11 years and younger, and those with medical conditions. 


In order to reach Community Immunity, 70% of the GRIC population must be vaccinated. 


During the initial phases of the vaccination rollout, many Community members reported getting their vaccinations to protect themselves and family members. However, with public spaces reopening and many members still reluctant to get the vaccine, the risk of spreading COVID-19 remains, especially among the unvaccinated. 


According to GRIC leaders and public health officials, until Community Immunity has been reached and infections decrease, restrictions will remain in place. This includes the cancellation of annual hallmark events like graduation and promotions, the Five Tribes Treaty of Peace Celebration, O’otham New Year Celebration, and the holiday gatherings each district hosts annually. 


For vaccination information and MVU scheduling, please visit or call the GRHC COVID Hotline at (520) 550-6079 or visit for regular COVID-19 updates.