COVID-19, also referred to as coronavirus, is projected to have serious negative impacts on Black, Indigenous, people of color, immigrants, and low-income, LGBTQ and incarcerated people and other marginalized communities. Throughout the globe, coronavirus is spreading rapidly and exposing inequities and the systems of oppression that cause harm and threaten our collective wellbeing. These systems coupled with an inadequate and xenophobic federal response in the U.S. to the coronavirus pandemic will intensify the daily impacts of systemic racism on people of color who are already experiencing limited access to health care and paid sick leave, mass incarceration, and higher rates of underlying conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and respiratory illnesses that make COVID-19 infections deadly.
Given the multiple intersections of health, economic and social harms that will be felt disproportionately by communities of color, the Center for Urban and Racial Equity (CURE) developed the Equitable Response Community Commons, an online hub for equity and justice in the U.S. coronavirus response. We encourage you to use this site to post resources and to share it with your networks to invite contributors. We envision this tool serving as an easily accessible resource for quickly finding tools and information in over 20 categories addressing anti-racism and stigma, policy demands and calls to action, mutual aid networks, testing and health care services, financial assistance, and population-specific issues and outreach materials.
We are all in this together. This moment is asking us to care for each other in ways we may not have thought possible before and to work collaboratively to make sure our communities receive the necessary care and services. Below we’ve compiled a few resources featured on the Equitable Response Community Commons. If you have resources to add to this list, please add them on the hub here: https://urbanandracialequity.org/covid19equitableresponse.
Take Action & Policy Demands
Kelly Hayes at New Politics compiled a list of demands that should be made of federal, state and city governments including free testing for anyone who is being told by a clinician that they should be tested, free care for those who test positive, financial and material assistance plans for people who are unable to work because of social distancing orders, and a moratorium on ICE deportations to ensure that undocumented people are not discouraged from seeking treatment or testing.
The NAACP released a guide to help officials responsible for addressing health, economic, and other impacts, in remediating some of the issues that are disproportionately affecting communities of color.
Nurses across the country report that they are not receiving the proper staffing, personal protective equipment (PPE), education, and communication from their employers, or isolation rooms they need to safely care for COVID-19 patients. The National Nurses United is collecting names for their sign-on letter to demand Congress to protect nurses during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Incarcerated people in jails, prison and ICE detention centers are at increased risk of COVID-19 given the difficulties with maintaining sanitary conditions and frequent cycling of detainees and staff in and out of these facilities. The Detention Watch Network created a toolkit to support local demands for mass release of people in ICE custody.
Financial Assistance & Unemployment
Tipped workers are often paid a sub-minimum wage because tips are supposed to make up the difference in pay but they often don’t. According to One Fair Wage, that nations’ largest workforce of women of color are tipped and services workers and therefore, work hard all day for pocket change. If you’re a tipped or service worker, you can apply for financial assistance through One Fair Wage’s emergency fund. Restaurant workers, delivery drivers, personal service workers and Uber/Lyft and InstaCart/DoorDash workers are eligible to apply.
The Arts Administrators of Color Network has set up the Arts Leaders of Color Emergency Fund to in support BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists and administrators (consultants, facilitators, box office staff, seasonal/temporary employees, etc.) who have been financially impacted due to COVID-19. BIPOC artists or administrators in financial need, can apply for assistance using this application form.
This site helps you find your local 211 or simply dial 211 to speak with someone who can help. 211 providers help connect people with services and resources in their local communities. If you need assistance finding food, paying house bills, accessing free childcare, or other essentials – get connected with your 211 provider.
Intimate Partner Violence
Social distancing during the Coronavirus pandemic can place people who are surviving violence in their relationships and families in danger due to increased isolation and additional challenges during this unprecedented time. Futures Without Violence provides information for survivors of domestic violence and care providers including links to safety plans and resources for self-care and domestic and sexual violence advocacy organizations.
Coronavirus Testing & Heath Care Resources
Do you have symptoms of COVID-19 and can’t get a test? Heroes 4 Healthcare and the Center for Popular Democracy are collecting data for a week of action to demand access to COVID-19 testing.
Homelessness and Housing Insecurity
Public Health Awakened compiled a list of resources and information for community-based services providers including guidance for community and faith-based leaders and considerations for limiting the spread of infectious disease among homeless populations.
Far before coronavirus, the risk of eviction was already a serious poverty-related inequity affecting Black and Latinx women. While there has been a call to halt evictions in response to the spread of COVID-19, the Sustainable Economies Law Center developed this sample letter that tenants who are anxious about paying rent in the coming weeks and months can update and send to landlords to request an extension on their rent.
Donate/Support for Grassroots Organizations
Emergent Fund launched the People’s Bailout Fund to raise $500,000 to support Indigenous, Black, and people of color organizations, collectives and mutual aid projects. To donate, click here.
Decolonizing Wealth Project, in partnership with Native Americans in Philanthropy and the National Urban Indian Family Coalition, has launched a rapid response fund to provide emergency support for the most vulnerable Native American families and communities impacted by COVID-19. Donations are being accepted to support this fund.
GiveDirectly is collecting donations to help with their initiative to send $1,000 directly to low income families on SNAP, many of whom are single mothers. They will start with 200 households and expand the initiative as resources become available.
Resources for Organizers and Advocates
This important reflection article from Maryse Mitchell-Brody is making its way around social justice circles. It outlines several topics related to movement gathering during the coronavirus outbreak. It lays out some important points including the reality that racism and xenophobia has shaped the COVID-19 context and that “we can and should organize against them.” In addition to developing “community-centered responses that are in line with our movement values,” this piece offers insights on how organizers can practice social solidarity through remote gatherings and compensating impacted workers including speakers, performers, service workers and folks who are disabled, trans, and/or BIPOC, when in-person meetings are cancelled.
Kenneth Bailey and Lori Lobenstine explore the current arrangement of individuality, local and global social arrangements as cloaked actors, and what we can do.
Coronavirus continues to impact our immediate and global communities. In this time of uncertainty, it’s critical that we care for each other by sharing resources to help us all better navigate this pandemic. To access these resources and more, visit: https://urbanandracialequity.org/covid19equitableresponse. Please share this important resource widely and send additional resources to cwilkinson [at] urbanandracialequity.org to add to the hub.