Today we celebrate the legendary civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the many women who also played integral roles in the fight against racial, economic and gender inequalities in America. From lunch counter sit-ins to nonviolent marches, those...
The COVID-19 pandemic and the shifts in life that came from it (shutdown, essential workers, etc) revealed the fault lines of inequity across the world. Communities of color, people in poverty, LGBTQ+ youth and older adults were disproportionately affected in terms of their health, wealth and well-being.
Resources to alleviate challenges disproportionately went to communities that were wealthier. In an unfair playing field, those with advantage are able to better access resources. In addition, hundreds of years of mistrust and a system of misinformation and disinformation meant that communities that most needed life-saving vaccines didn’t trust them.
We knew our response to the pandemic would lead to poor outcomes in health and well-being over generations.
Why Does this Challenge Exist?
Communities of color and communities in poverty were already affected by chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and lung disease from living in places of concentrated poverty and from experiences of racism, poverty, and other forms of exclusion. In addition, these same groups didn’t have the freedom to work from home, didn’t have generational wealth to ride out the pandemic and were more exposed to the financial and health impacts of the pandemic. This meant they lost access to all their vital conditions–food, housing, meaningful work, and more.
Who Came Together?
WE in the World convened a national partnership of organizations who brought deep relationships and lived experience with communities experiencing inequities in 2400+ communities across the nation to bend the trend toward well-being and justice. The Public Health Institute stepped forward to act as the fiscal sponsor for the effort.
Together, we bent a $27 million pipeline of federal funding toward communities experiencing inequities and created a response that created jobs and met people’s need for food, health and well-being. Together, we’re investing in building civic capacity to change the system so that these communities do not remain vulnerable to future pandemics.
The Role of WE in the World
How We Did It
Approach & Building Blocks
And Failings Forward