It’s been a crazy couple of years. The global Coronavirus outbreak and the Covid-19 pandemic that followed have touched all of our lives in so many ways. We can count the impacts this disease and its required isolation have had on us, but what about our kids? After all, we’re talking about the next generation here. So what do the experts say?

Faith Mitchell, a Fellow at the Urban Institute with a doctorate in medical anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, says that “Discriminatory policies and institutional practices have created deep inequities across social and economic sectors, including education, employment, political representation, health, and the justice system. These inequities have been multiplied by the COVID-19 pandemic, jeopardizing this future generation.”  She identified three immediate areas of concern for Black families:  Loss of family income; loss of educational opportunity; and, housing insecurity and instability. All have demonstrated negative effects on Black children who are already dealing with the challenges of inequality. Policy makers, our elected politicians, need to address these pressing issues and provide our communities of color with relief. Increasing pay for essential workers and addressing rental security and increasing access to affordable housing should be part of the conversation.

“The impact of the global pandemic on the education of Black students may potentially be devastating,” said UCLA Professor of Education Tyrone C. Howard. “The COVID-19 pandemic has only underscored the challenges facing Black students in Los Angeles County, our state and our nation,” concludes Professor Howard. “But it has also provided an opportunity for real change.”

Black families, parents and grandparents, have always had to fight for educational opportunities and equal treatment for their children. Now, it seems, the community needs to organize to fight for the real change Professor Howard references; to fight for its share of Covid-related educational relief funds; for access to grants, programs and services to address the educational disparities our  communities of color so often endure. 

In a recent piece, the Society for Research in Child Development notes: ‘Through inequitable policies and practices, Black Americans are forced into conditions that elevate their risk for COVID-19, and consequently, place Black children at the epicenter of loss in multiple domains of life.’  That’s why we fight. For our children.

To address our children’s educational needs, it is clear we must influence policy makers to legislate remedies for the many inequalities that challenge Black families every day; including income disparities, educational and education infrastructure disparities, and housing insecurities. Reparations should be part of this conversation. 

We’ll be watching as this process plays out, and we’ll try to keep you informed. For more information, you may want to check-out:

Thank you for reading. Please comment your thoughts or feedback below.

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