Covid-19, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, is disproportionately affecting Black communities across the country. New data from several states shows that Black folks are contracting the virus and dying at an alarming rate compared to other races, and there’s no denying that the long-term impact of Covid-19 will be especially acute in the Black population.
To address the ways in which Covid-19 is impacting Black people specifically, the NAACP and BET are partnering for a four-part virtual town hall series called Unmasked: A COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall Series Powered by NAACP & BET.
The town hall will be focused on how the pandemic is affecting African Americans and what steps the community can take to build an action plan for positive change. The first town hall kicks-off on Wednesday, April 8, at 8 PM ET/ 5 PM PT, and will focus on the health, emotional, economic toll, congressional response and how activists can apply pressure to ensure legislation is equitable.
“As the world faces unprecedented times and new realities during this global pandemic, the health and safety of people around the planet, particularly African Americans, are at an unparalleled risk,” said Derrick Johnson, president and CEO, NAACP. “The occasion to uplift and educate our community during this pivotal moment charts a pathway forward through uncertain times. The NAACP, in partnership with BET, is committed to rising to meet this moment head on through this informative four-part series focused on the health, economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the African American Community.”
“As the devastation from the COVID-19 pandemic mounts, BET is developing partnerships and programs to support our community through this global health and financial crisis,” said Scott Mills, President of BET. “We’re proud to work with our long-time partner the NAACP on this important town hall series that will provide comprehensive information for African Americans that will empower and help the community move forward during these difficult times.”
In the United States alone, close to 200,000 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed. Because of the racial and economic inequities embedded in our country’s infrastructure, the effects of the coronavirus could be compounded for Black and Brown communities. The town hall series will help separate facts from myths and directly address how to ensure that the policies and practices that are born out of this pandemic justly address the health, economic and social needs of all people. The weekly series will focus on issues such as the state impact, response, and what comes next to advocating for your local community to the impact to schools, school systems, colleges, and exposed divisions.
Viewers can participate LIVE via an interactive toll-free conference call that will also be streamed at https://naacp.org/call-to-action-program/. To participate via phone dial 866-757-0756 and to join the conversation on social media follow @NAACP and @BET.