Panel: "Racism is a Public Health Issue—Essentially Forgotten, How COVID-19 Impacts Frontline Workers"
When news of a novel coronavirus arrived in the United States in early January, xenophobia was not far behind. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, reports of racist attacks against Asian Americans have increased. As the number of confirmed cases exploded in America, racial disparities in health outcomes became starker. The hardest hit are often Black, Latinx, Southeast Asian, Pacific Islander, and Indigenous communities—many of whom are essential workers. Join Arte Américas, For Freedoms, GYOPO, LACMA, and StopDiscriminAsian (SDA) for a series of lively virtual conversations about the economic and racial disparities that have been made blatant by this crisis.
COVID-19 is far from the “great equalizer.” Economic disparities were laid bare early in the pandemic, as states issued stay-at-home orders yet identified certain essential workers to continue to report to their worksites. As California grapples with a surge in cases and hospitalizations, Latinx and Black populations have been especially hard hit. According to recent L.A. County Department of Public Health reports, Latinx residents are more than twice as likely as white residents to contract the virus. In California’s agricultural zones, big cities, and suburbs, essential workers, many of them Latinx and Black, cannot afford to stop working when they fall ill on the job and tend to share housing.
This is third and final conversation in the LACMA series “Racism is a Public Health Issue” discussing the ways in which essential workers—with a focus on health, home, and the agricultural industries—confront inadequate safety measures without fair wages, health insurance, job security, PPE, and other basic protections. These circumstances, compounded with limited access to testing and information, contribute to increased suffering from the virus. This discussion will unpack the racial underpinnings of COVID-19’s impact on communities of color and present ways to generate greater awareness and change.
Panelists include: President and Founder, Dolores Huerta Foundation Dolores Huerta; artist Narsiso Martinez; Civic Engagement Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Executive Director of Care in Action Jess Morales Rocketto; and Political Director for 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East Gabby Seay. Introduced by LACMA Curator of Contemporary Art and GYOPO co-founder Christine Y. Kim and moderated by Director and Professor, UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Chon Noriega.
A recording of this event can be viewed on YouTube, here.
Presented by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Cosponsored by the CSRC.
Free to the public.