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Dr. Sharon McDaniel, board president of Black Administrators in Child Welfare, opens this month’s BACW newsletter:

We are strong. I know we will come through this together. Whereas now there is despair, desperation and death, there will someday soon be recovery, renewal and life. I anticipate things will change. Perhaps online grocery shopping and virtual doctor visits will grow in popularity. We may also see a higher occurrence of daily hand-washing as a result of our new habits. But who is the “we” who will get through COVID-19 together? More importantly, will “we” all get through this in the same way? While a collective impact brings us together, does that same collective impact separate us more?

Most of the “we” have never been in an African-American home, neighborhood or business. By now, most of us have seen the numbers. The race-related data surrounding the coronavirus speaks loudly in a system that typically seeks to be quiet or silent in acknowledging health, education and economic disparities among African-Americans. For example, it has been reported:

  • African-Americans make up almost half of Milwaukee County’s nearly 1,000 cases and 81% of its 27 deaths as of last Friday, despite black people accounting for 26% of its population, according to a study by ProPublica.
  • In Michigan, African-Americans make up 14% of the population, but they account for 33% of positive cases and 41% of deaths.
  • In hard-hit Louisiana, more than 70% of the people who have died of COVID-19 are black, despite making up only 32% of the Gulf state’s population.

To read more about the physical and mental seclusion of communities of color during this time, as well as the pandemic’s impact on faith-based leaders, ways in which organizations are working together to address new community needs and much more, read the latest BACW newsletter.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of A Second Chance, Inc.

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