The global pandemic is putting DEIA issues at the forefront. We are seeing xenophobia towards those of Asian Pacific heritage as the White House insists on calling Covid19 the “Chinese flu.” Rationing of health care negatively impacting people with disabilities and older Americans, as well as many people of color. African and Latin heritage people experiencing higher rates of the virus as they are overrepresented in jobs and living situations where they are more likely to be exposed, and less likely to get the care they need. Lower-income people who do not have the opportunity to work from home and are either going without income to feed themselves and their families or working in high-risk jobs in hospitals and stores. Digital divides and food insecurity among children who do not have the tools they need to get their education at home and are going hungry without school-provided meals. Immigration detention centers where the virus is running rampant because of close quarters. People of color who are incarcerated with even less access to legal due process and awaiting their day in court in prisons rife with the virus.
I also worry about the feel-good stories we see largely depicting white upper-income individuals and families making the best of the situation and helping their neighbors. Where are the stories from communities of color? When will we see people with disabilities helping to provide solutions vs. only the recipients of others’ kindness? Why are we not seeing more stories about the heroes among us who are often people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community?
All IAC members can help raise awareness and offer suggestions for addressing the dearth of DEIA information and stories available. You are encouraged to share your perspective, insights and stories. Please consider making the time to create a short blog or opinion piece, share something you have seen that is available for public distribution, or perhaps something you wrote about in the past about these topics. We will post contribution on the IAC website and push it out on social media.
With many years of expertise and experience as an executive editor for multiple publications, Barbara has generously offered to edit IAC posts.
Thank you for considering this invitation.
Co-Chair IAC Advocacy Team