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Following the emergence of COVID-19 in the United States, the pandemic has spread across the nation with devastating and life-altering effects. The human toll -psychologically, physically, and financially necessitates a response matching the gravity of this global public health crisis. While states and localities have sought to mitigate the impact of this pandemic, it is important to address the risks and barriers facing survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. The heightened risks, increased barriers of reporting to law enforcement, and increased calls to culturally specific community-based programs underscores the unique challenges faced by domestic violence and sexual assault survivors from Communities of Color, who are often marginalized in systemic and service responses.

As the nation races to address the current and future costs of this pandemic, recent data shows that Communities of Color have been disparately impacted. According to the latest research by APM Research Lab, COVID-19 related deaths in the Black community are more than double that of other racial/ethnic groups. In Louisiana, African Americans accounted for 70% of COVID-19 deaths, while comprising 33% of the population. In Michigan, they accounted for 40% of deaths even though they are 14% of the population. In Iowa, Latinos accounted for 17% of COVID confirmed cases, while comprising only 6% of the population. In Alabama, the Asian community accounted for 4% of deaths compared to being 1% of the population. *The response to our communities has been especially inadequate. Higher infection and mortality rates in Communities of Color are indicative of long-term systemic inequities, including access to healthcare, wealth and wage gaps, the digital divide, lack of language access, housing disparities, and food deserts, among other things.

Despite some funding for sexual assault and domestic violence programs, there is a dearth of funding for under-resourced culturally specific programs that are a lifeline for survivors in their communities. Funding for Communities of Color was nominal before COVID-19, and is very insufficient now for a short and long-term response to the public health and economic crisis at the intersection with domestic violence and sexual assault. These organizations provide more holistic services; provide critical language access for survivors who are limited English proficient; assist survivors who are at a higher risk of contracting COVID as essential workers and also at higher risk of unemployment; provide food; and increase access to other life-saving resources. These organizations are having to do this with limited access to resources at a time of greater demand.

In order to truly address the impact of COVID-19 on ALL domestic violence and sexual assault survivors, there must be funding directed to culturally specific organizations that are developed by and for our communities. Communities of Color must lead the response in our own communities. Our nation cannot maintain the status quo that has marginalized the voices of those who are at the greatest risk; our collective health and long-term well-being depends on it.

 

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*Note reference below

Reference

  1. Hlvinka, E. “COVID-19 Killing African Americans at Shocking Rates.” Wildly disproportionate mortality highlights need to address longstanding inequities. May, 2020, https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19/86266; See also www.covidtracking.com/race.

The National Resource Center for Reaching Victims conducted a series of listening sessions to unearth the impact the COVID-19 health crisis is having on underserved victims of crime and better resource the crime victim services field to respond to those needs. This brief summarizes the issues and strategies that emerged from listening sessions on girls and women of color survivors.

Click here for more information.

Widespread school closures have thrown a wrench in the gears of education this year, but kids can still have fun learning thanks to a number of free online resources… even if it’s from their own homes.

FinanceBuzz is a great site to find a list of resources for online learning materials. To check out these resources and for more information about FinanceBuzz, visit www.financebuzz.com.

Colleges and universities across the United States and around the world are scrambling to keep their students, faculty, and staff healthy, safe, and educated during the COVID-19 pandemic. As experts on the daily crises that derail #RealCollege students and prevent them from completing their degrees our team at the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice offers the following considerations and resources to support your work.

For more information about The Hope Project and their COVID-19 resources, click here.

Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, colleges and universities have closed their campuses, told students to return home, and moved to online instruction. These necessary actions may force HBCU students to drop out, due to financial hardship and lack of access to the required technology. Over 72% of HBCU students are Pell Grant eligible (family income less than $20,000 per year), and 43% rely on jobs to cover basic living expenses. HBCUs themselves do not have the infrastructure to support students, deliver online coursework, retain today’s students and ensure that next year’s students enroll. To support HBCUs and their students, TMCF created its TMCF’s COVID-19 HBCU Emergency Fund, which will cover HBCU student short-term costs due to the COVID-19 school closures, and provide HBCU medium and long-term financial support.

Read more at www.tmcf.org.

National Geographic Kids is offering some great resources for learning at home. To view these resources and learn more about National Geographic Kids, visit www.kids.nationalgeographic.com.

About National Geographic

National Geographic has been igniting the explorer in all of us for 132 years through groundbreaking storytelling from the best and brightest scientists, explorers, photographers, and filmmakers in the world. Our yellow border serves as a portal to explore the farthest reaches of the Earth and beyond. Places only National Geographic can take you.

The Smithsonian is committed to supporting teachers and their students around the globe as they face unprecedented new learning challenges. Here, on the Learning Lab, teachers have access to millions of digital resources from across the Smithsonian’s museums, research centers, libraries, archives, and more. You will also find pre-packaged collections that contain lessons, activities, and recommended resources made by Smithsonian museum educators as well as thousands of classroom teachers like you. Use the search bar below to search for Smithsonian Learning Lab Collections.

For more information, visit www.learninglab.si.edu/distancelearning.

For individuals whose stimulus check is being direct deposited into an abuser controlled bank account

  • Individuals can track their payment by accessing this page on the the IRS website, IRS Get My Payment
  • The current challenge is that most direct deposit payments went out this morning, Wednesday April 15, and the site where individuals can provide updated banking and account information is not slated to go live until Friday, April 17
  • It is also not clear what happens if a stimulus check is direct deposited into an account that is still active but a survivor is not longer on that account
    • We will continue to track these issues and update you with more information should remedies come forward

For individuals whose stimulus check is being directed to a bank account that is no longer active or has closed

  • The payment will be reverted to a paper check
  • The Treasury must send notice of the payment by mail to the individual’s last known address
  • The notice will include how the payment was made and the amount of the payment
  • The notice will include a phone number for the appropriate point of contact at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if the individual didn’t receive the payment
  • Individuals can help make sure that checks go to the correct location by updating the address after a move
  • Most people do that on their tax return, but individuals can also submit a federal form 8822, Change of Address (downloads as a PDF)

It generally takes four to six weeks to process a change of address.

CHANGE THEIR WORLD. CHANGE YOURS. THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response

As we learn about COVID-19 resources and services available, we will be sharing them here.