The San Francisco Human Rights Commission continues its original programming with the second installment in a series to address the racial history of pandemics.
To understand our present and prepare for the future, we need to look to the past. From cholera, to the 1918 Influenza, to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, waves of disease and illness often trigger a social pandemic of hatred, racism, and xenophobia, while exacting its heaviest toll on traditionally vulnerable communities. COVID-19 is no different. Almost one year into our disaster response, Black, Latinx, Asian Pacific Islander, and American Indian communities still overwhelmingly bear the brunt of the pandemic.
History and research also show us that a brutal history of medical experimentation, racial discrimination in health care environments, implicit bias in medical decision-making makes it that much more difficult for communities of color to seek out and receive appropriate care.
To ignore history is to repeat it. Looking forward, as we engage in our community with the first wave of vaccinations, we need to empower and listen to those doubly impacted by stigma and disease. As the community saying goes “nothing for us, without us.”
In this two-part series we have started by asking – what can we learn from the racial history of pandemics? And continuing the conversation by asking – What will equitable access to vaccination and a just recovery look like? How can we center community leadership in this process?
Join the SF Human Rights Commission for engaging conversations in the second installment of this series:
Part 2: Understanding Community Response to Vaccines: An Anti-Racist Approach
Thursday, January 21, 2021
There will be interpretation available in Spanish and Cantonese.
A recording of the first event is available here:
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