Joanne Kelly is on a mission to keep her borough safe.

"The vaccine will protect you from getting seriously sick, all right?” she said. “So you won't end up deathly ill on a respirator."

Kelly works with the Brooklyn Public Library's Health Navigator Team. She talks masks, testing and inoculations three times a week. She does it at churches, pantries and public housing complexes throughout the borough.

"It gives protection to your family members that are close to you that you could possibly be passing the virus on to,” she said.

Kelly is a Crown Heights native. She's embraced new generations of family, survived domestic abuse and worked in several fields.  Through it all, she always had her borough. She loves it so much, she sometimes goes by the name "Brookleena.”

"You can go to China. You can go to, uh, Trinidad. You can go to Jamaica. You can travel the whole breadth of the world on Nostrand Avenue.

That affection and the recent spate of coronavirus cases fuels her mission.

"The more protection you have, the less chance you have of getting sick,” she said.

Kelly is of Afro and Latin Caribbean descent. She feels a special responsibility to New Yorkers of color. Kelly often makes sure the people she speaks with know that a Black doctor developed the vaccines.

"People are more likely be accepting of the message when the message is coming from someone that looks like them," she said.

"It's not just a health issue — it's getting back to a regular, normal life."

For making it her mission to help her friends and neighbors get back to a healthy, regular, normal life, Joanne "Brookleena" Kelly is our New Yorker of the Week.