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Discussing COVID-19 impacts on communities of color, low-income communities

By PA Council of Churches

Apr 16, 2021

Harrisburg, PA –Recognizing that COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on communities of color (Black, Indigenous and People of Color, or BIPOC) and low-income persons, the Pennsylvania Council of Churches has convened a panel of stakeholders to discuss the intersectional realities around this crisis at 7:00 pm on Monday, April 19.

Options to register and view the service are provided below.

Panelists include: Rev. Ralph E. Blanks, Pastor, Vine Memorial Baptist Church, Philadelphia; Luz B. Colon, Executive Director, Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs (GACLA); Chad Dion Lassiter, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission; Julie Strickland-Gilliard, Western Regional Director, Office of the Lieutenant Governor, representing COVID-19 Response Task Force for Health Disparity; and Stephanie Sun, Executive Director, Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs (GACAPAA). The moderator for this event is Joyce B. Davis, Outreach and Opinion Editor, PennLive/Patriot News.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact upon everyone, it has laid bare some long-existing realities:

  • Health and health care delivery disparities that exist for Black and Brown people in the United States.
  • Housing access disparities for the poor and people of color.
  • Educational resource disparities for Black and Brown children, inclusive of inadequate access to the internet.
  • Direct acts of violence directed toward Asian-Americans who are being scapegoated for the presence of the virus in the United States.

Faith communities have long dealt with disparities, discrimination, hatred, and violence in our society; however, this crisis and what it has revealed about the extent of these conditions has necessitated that our faith communities add to their already heavy portfolio of love, logistics and liberation. Our aim is to engage numerous community stakeholders in analyzing the problems that we have surfaced and begin strategizing about what it is that we can do through viable partnerships to address these critical issues facing our communities.

The Council’s Executive Director, the Rev. Dr. Larry D. Pickens, said, “As faith communities and organizations committed to social justice we are in a space where an intersectional theology and praxis is required to address the challenges facing our communities. This gathering is an important first step in finding ways to partner, develop praxis and initiate policies that effectuate the health and welfare of our communities.”

The service is open to the public on Zoom, though registration is required. Click here to register.

The service will also be streamed on Facebook Live. Click here to access the Council’s Facebook Live page. The service will also be recorded and uploaded to the Council’s YouTube channel.

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