Effectively addressing the COVID-19 pandemic requires each of us to understand the equity implications for the most vulnerable in our communities. When schools closed, businesses required employees to remain home and commerce and industry at all levels began to feel the pain of an economic slowdown, the impact across Michigan communities was even more significant for underrepresented and underserved populations. We are being called upon to play crucial, even life-saving roles together in partnership with nonprofits, government and other partners.
The pandemic has unearthed new challenges and exposed existing inequities in Michigan and around the nation—in many cases exacerbating established problems that have historically affected underrepresented populations, especially people of color.
The pandemic is being experienced in the context of systemic racial disparities even further illuminated by recent events across the country, including trauma caused by centuries of oppression. Indeed, the challenges facing underrepresented communities were not created by the pandemic, but they have been magnified because of it.
Advancing racial equity benefits everyone and is critical in order to create equal opportunity for well-being and a more just society. Michigan philanthropy has a role in addressing these challenges as part of not only relief and recovery, but reform. Addressing these disparities requires that we identify and disrupt structures of systemic racism and recognition that such disparities are not the result of failings by underrepresented groups, but rather the result of structural failures.
We invite you to subscribe to CMF’s digital publication, The Download. Sent on Monday mornings, this publication features the latest updates from the field, emerging and established best practices and key learning opportunities for Michigan philanthropy, grounded in our community to putting equity at the center of our work.