Talking about COVID-19: A call for racial, economic and health equity

By Elizabeth Johnsen, The Opportunity Agenda

As a growing number of COVID-19 cases are identified in New York City and across the United States, we have become conscious of public health recommendations: wash your hands, stay home if you are sick, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Equally important, however, is stepping up our advocacy for communities and individuals most vulnerable – not just those with underlying health conditions, but communities of color, immigrant communities, incarcerated communities, and low-income communities.

As many have said before: We are all only as safe as those members of our community who are most at risk. This means working together to demand that local and state governments adopt policies that can protect marginalized communities and individuals. It also means being conscious about our language and messaging.

Organizations such as Race ForwardAmerica’s Voice, and Family Values @ Work, have already pointed out that communities of color, low-wage workers, and incarcerated and detained populations are at disproportionate risk of being affected both by the coronavirus and the response to its spread. For these populations, the health and economic ramifications could be severe. Read more …