Even in the midst of this crisis, we think it is more important than ever to focus on racial equity in both our response and recovery if we are going to emerge stronger and better than before.
Coronavirus has brought existing, long-term health inequalities into sharp focus, like the fact that black people are overrepresented in fields considered “essential”, that they are much more likely to live in dense environments where social distancing is a near-impossibility, or that underlying social determinants of health have made those populations at higher-risk of infection and dying from COVID-19.
Last week, we convened groups of black essential workers and healthcare professionals in Cincinnati to brainstorm strategies for how best to achieve the goal of ensuring that we make our city safer for the black community.
Our conversations included employees at some of the largest retail, grocery, and distribution employers in the country, as well as doctors, nurses, epidemiologists and public health officials from some of the leading hospitals and health institutions in the region.
You can find the key priorities and takeaways mentioned in our recent report: Strategies For Making Cincinnati A Safer Place for Black Communities During the COVID-19 Crisis.
We believe this strategy is a small beginning in the direction of what we hope will be a larger effort to transform Cincinnati into a positive example for the rest of the country when it comes to racial equity and progress.
While this report is only an initial set of ideas, we are hopeful that they can be helpful to our Cohear community and the many city leaders working to address these issues.