Week 4: March 29, 2021
UNMC 21-week Racial Equity Challenge
Welcome to the 21-week Racial Equity Challenge
Diversity scholar Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr. [eddiemoorejr.com] created the 21-Day Challenge concept to promote a deeper understanding of race, power, privilege, supremacy, and oppression. The UNMC Department of Medicine has modified this challenge to create a 21-week program in collaboration with the Office of Inclusion. You can subscribe to receive weekly emails with suggested articles, podcasts, and webinars that will help you raise awareness, compassion, understanding, and engagement towards racial equity. You can get a lapel pin from the Office of Inclusion that will represent your commitment towards working towards racial equity and understanding the experience of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color who are your colleagues, friends, patients, and community members Track your progress here.
Cesar Chavez: From the Fields to Victory. President Obama commemorated March 31 as Cesar Chavez Day in 2014. According to Obama, "Chavez left a legacy as an educator, environmentalist, and a civil rights leader. And his cause lives on. As farm workers and laborers across America continue to struggle for fair treatment and fair wages, we find strength in what Cesar Chavez accomplished so many years ago. And we should honor him for what he's taught us about making America a stronger, more just, and more prosperous nation. That's why I support the call to make Cesar Chavez's birthday a national holiday. It's time to recognize the contributions of this American icon to the ongoing efforts to perfect our union."
Latinx Farmworkers Risk Their Lives During Pandemic. Many Now Struggle to Access Vaccines Undocumented immigrants, many of which are Latinx, work under dangerous and exploitive conditions in the agriculture industry. Many farmworkers struggle to get vaccinated for covid-19 despite their status as essential workers. The Legal director of the Agricultural Worker Program for California Rural Legal Assistance, Estella Cisnero, states an uneven rollout as well as technical barriers have left many farmworkers unvaccinated. The director of the Cornell Farmworker Program states it’s “puzzling” that farmworkers in New York state were left out of the current phase of vaccine distribution “at a time when we’ve seen an increasing number of Covid cases among the farmworker population."
In the beginning of the pandemic, Coronavirus was reported in over half of Latinx meatpacking workers in 21 states.  At least 569 meatpacking plants have confirmed cases of Covid-19, 57,536 meatpacking workers have tested positive for Covid-19 with at least 283 workers dying from the virus. Latinx minorities, who make up a large majority of the meatpacking/agriculture workforce have been exposed to conditions that increased their risk of contracting covid-19.  In February 2021, the United States House of Representatives Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis started to investigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on meatpacking workers. Concern has grown that members of the Latinx community do not have equitable access to the coronavirus vaccine. Almost 90% of deaths among white people have been in people over 65, but according to CDC data, more than one third of those dying of covid-19 in the Latinx and Black communities have been younger than 65.