Juneteenth Congressional Briefing on Inequality & Disproportionate Impacts of COVID Response
On June 19th, The Partnership organized a Juneteenth Congressional Briefing, entitled Inequality And The Disproportionate Impacts Of COVID Response On Black Disabled Communities. The briefing was presented in collaboration with Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI), co-chair of the House Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus, and Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) ranking member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging.
Over 250 attendees watched Valerie Novack, Justice Shorter, Dr. Angel Love Miles, Anita Cameron, and Tyree Brown discuss inequality, racial justice, and COVID19.
This important conversation explored how legacies of racial inequality and enduring bias continue in disability policy, disaster response, and institutionalization.
As we see disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on Black disabled people, particularly those in congregate settings, this is also an opportunity to take action to meaningfully include Black and Brown disabled communities in disaster planning and response.
Valerie Novack Bio
Board President The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies and Fellow at the Center for American Progress
Valerie provided an overview of Juneteenth, discussed the thread of discrimination through American history, and current disasters. As a moderator, Valerie also introduced each panelist with a brief background discussion.
Justice Shorter Bio
Disaster Protection Advisor National Disability Rights Network
Justice spoke about legacies of systemic inequality- including drinking water, police violence, housing, LGBTQIA+, education, and incarceration- that lead to public health crises and disparate disaster impacts, including drinking water, police violence, housing, and incarceration. For Justice, there is hope and power in intersectional justice. [Watch Justice Shorter’s comments] [Justice Shorter’s transcript.]
Angel Love Miles, Ph.D, Bio
Healthcare/Home and Community Based Services Policy Analyst, Access Living
Dr. Miles discussed the systemic inequalities that lead to higher rates of disability for Black communities. Although Black people have higher rates of disability, the lack of representation in disability policy-making and service provision disadvantages Black disabled people. Justice involves investing in Black communities and Home and Community-Based Services to benefit Black disabled people. [Watch Dr. Miles’ comments] [Dr. Miles’ Transcript]
Anita Cameron Bio
Director of Minority Outreach. Not Dead Yet
Anita discussed how proponents for physician assisted-suicide are harnessing the pandemic to push legislation. She discussed how instead of addressing disparities, racism and ableism can work together to encourage Black disabled people to pursue physician-assisted suicide. [Watch Anita Cameron’s comments] [Anita Cameron’s Transcript]
Tyree Brown, Bio
Artist and recipient of Money Follows the Person
Tyree shared her story on how the Money Follows the Person provided the planning, resources, and supports that were necessary for her to leave a nursing home, gain independent living skills, and resume her work as an artist. Without Money Follows the Person, Tyree would have been trapped in a nursing home during the pandemic and at heightened risk for COVID19. [Watch Tyree Brown’s comments] [Tyree Brown’s Transcript]