Coronavirus and Communities of Color: A College of Liberal Arts & Sciences event, March 31

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences invites all members of the campus community to a panel event on Wednesday, March 31, dedicated to exploring the pandemic’s disparate effects on people of color.

“COVID-19: Communities of Color Faculty Panel” is presented as part of the Without Limits events series, the flagship program engaging the campus community on topics and perspectives in the liberal arts, humanities and social sciences.

The event gives a platform to scholars who have studied the local and global impacts of coronavirus, from initial outbreak to vaccination. It will be moderated by Kathleen Hunt, assistant professor of communication.

All are welcome to join this conversation on March 31 at 5 p.m. Pre-registration is required to get the link; Please click here to sign up.

Participants and discussion topics include:

“Corona, the Great Exposer: Impacts on Communities of Color and Policy Implications” – Carycruz Bueno (Brown University) and Cruz Caridad Bueno (Department of Black Studies)

We argue that the Corona virus has not only worsened economic and social outcomes for POC but that it has brought to the surface pre-existing inequalities foundational to American Society. We explore the myriad intersectional discrimination people of color face—food insecurity, disproportional unemployment, housing insecurity, deportations, racialized violence, unequal access to education, inability to receive stimulus payments and small business loans—while being at the forefront of those considered essential workers and unable to work from home. We argue that sustained political activism, long-run expansionary fiscal policies, and reparations are key to improving the lives of POC and ensuring economic growth in the U.S.

“Race and Vaccine Attitudes among the Student Body: Discussion of Findings from a Campus Survey” – Benjamin Junge (Department of Anthropology)

I will present results from an online vaccine-attitudes survey conducted among SUNY-New Paltz students during the Fall 2020 semester (n=341). The aim of the research was to identify correlates of acceptance and hesitancy around a safe-and-effective vaccine for COVID-19, prior to rollout. Attitudes examined concerns about the vaccine itself (concerns over side effects, toxicity, etc.), around vaccination policy (including which populations should be prioritized), and trust and distrust in available information sources (including the government, the University, and online social media). Echoing earlier studies from public health and medical anthropology, we find significantly lower enthusiasm and greater hesitancy among non-white-identified students. These results will inform a critical discussion about matters of race privilege as it enters into vaccine rollout.

Learn more online about the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences’ Without Limits events series.