Responses to COVID-19 and Racial Injustice

Kids in black t-shirts
Kids from Code Fever Miami

Hackathon to combat racism

Code Fever Miami, in partnership with eMerge Americas and Wyncode Academy, created a hackathon, Unite & Fight Hackathon, to design and build applications that provide education, resources and training to combat racism. The hackathon will take place on July 2nd, and will be open to the public. It will be continued by a weekly meetup, culminating in September with presentations by its judges. City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez will meet with final project creators to discuss solutions for combating racism and social injustice, and final projects will be featured in the program agenda at the upcoming eMerge Americas tech conference in November. To register for the hackathon, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/unite-fight-hackathon-tickets-109014218462?mc_cid=b270dfa36a&mc_eid=01fb6b4462. On the night before the hackathon, Code Fever will host “lighting talks” with Black community leaders and residents on what it means to be Black. The talks will provide insight into the problems that hackathon participants will seek to solve the following day. RSVP for lighting talks at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/unite-fight-hackathon-lightning-talks-tickets-109820802978.

Youth summer employment

Asase Yaa Cultural Arts Foundation, a Brooklyn, NY, nonprofit,  is launching the Asase Yaa Youth Summer Employment Initiative, a crowd-funding effort to raise $50,000 to provide employment for 20 youth, aged 14 to 19, to work with the organization in various capacities. The six-week employment program, which runs daily through August 7, is designed  to fill the void left by the cancellation of New York City’s Summer Youth Employment Program. Youth employees will participate in training and working within a nonprofit arts organization and toward planning that all youth should experience. They will be supervised by Asase Yaa staff and will also work within the organization’s 14 Annual Children’s Art Camp.

Re-opening the economy

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the New York Forward Loan Fund, esd.ny.gov/nyforwardloans-info, to support the state’s small businesses with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, nonprofits, and small landlords that have seen a loss of rental income, as they reopen after the COVID-19 outbreak and NYS on PAUSE. The fund is specifically timed to support businesses and organizations that have upfront expenses to comply with re-opening guidelines under the New York Forward Plan. Priority is being given to industries that have been reopened and not on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis as regions and industries reopen. Businesses that have already received SBA funding through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) are not eligible. For assistance, go to nyc.gov/financingassistance. 

Accountability list on racial injustice

Cannaclusive, a group comprising African-American women in the cannabis industry, released The Accountability List–Cannabis and Hemp Brands to publicize the responses, or lack thereof,  of cannabis and hemp brands, including media companies, to racial injustice in the country. Cofounder Mary Pryor says the list is intended as a guide for consumers who wish to support brands that share their ideals, and to hold existing brands accountable to “the people whose backs this industry was built upon.” She says conscious cannabis consumers should demand that brands they support show real commitment to diversity and social justice, including proven and continued inclusion within cannabis organizations; hiring more executives and creatives; developing more shareholders of color; and creating and implementing programs to help repair communities impacted by the war on drugs. Cannaclusive will continuously vet and update the list, which will remain online. In 2019, Cannaclusive and AlmostConsulting jointly released Inclusivebase, a regularly updated directory of diverse cannabis businesses that can be found on the websites of both companies.

 

Coronavirus crisis worsened racial inequities

A Center for American Progress (CAP) analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data collected from May 28 to June 2 this year shows that 63 percent of Hispanic or Latino and 54 percent of Black households reported losing income since March 13; 22 percent of all Black households and 27 percent of Black households with children reported not having enough to eat during the previous week; 45 percent of Black households and 45 percent of Latino or Hispanic households reported having slight or no confidence that they would be able to pay their next month’s rent on time. While all groups surveyed reported feeling emotional distress, a greater percentage of Latino or Hispanic, Asian American, and Black respondents reported symptoms associated with depression or anxiety. Connor Maxwell, senior policy analyst for Race and Ethnicity Policy at CAP and author of the analysis “The Coronavirus Crisis is Worsening Racial Inequality, said the “data show that the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated racial disparities and harmed the physical and economic well-being of Black and Latinx households.” 

Jobseekers on COVID-19

In an online poll in June of 420 jobseekers, 63 percent of respondents said they have been laid-off or have less work as a result of the pandemic; 43 percent said it would take until Spring of 2021 or longer for the economy to recover from COVID-19, while just 10 percent thought the economy will recover by this fall; 78 percent thought their company followed the proper guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19; 76 percent said businesses that are open are doing a good job at keeping employees safe; 80 percent said businesses that are open are doing a good job at keeping customers safe; 66 percent said they “agree with the quarantine recommendations” for their area, 22 percent said the recommendations should be “more strict,” and 12 percent said are “too strict;” 92 percent said they practice “proper social distancing (6 feet away from others).” The poll was conducted by Job-Applications.com, an online job application platform that conducts regular online polls to gain insights from U.S. entry-level jobseekers. It ended June 8