If there is one issue most Americans would agree on right now, it’s that we should protect our youngest children from hunger during the Covid-19 crisis. And yet the closure of child care facilities in California and across the country means hundreds of thousands of infants and young children may not be getting the free meals they regularly depend on.
As the pandemic continues, the government needs to take stronger action to ensure that our youngest children aren’t going hungry.
Relationship violence threatens not only students’ physical safety and emotional well-being, but also their academic prospects. Some campuses are finding solutions to help keep survivors in school.
Federal law requires schools and universities that receive government funding to prevent gender-based violence and harassment, and address the needs of survivors so they can continue their education. Survivors have the right to special accommodations such as extra time to complete their school work.
As cries to “defund the police” reverberate across the country, cities are looking at ways to shift funds from policing into communities. In California, tax revenues from marijuana should be a clear point of entry.
When voters legalized cannabis in 2016, they expected the taxes would be invested in communities that were adversely impacted by the war on drugs. Instead, a new report finds that these revenues are actually funding the police.
Home visitors provide one-on-one outreach to parents who may be struggling to care for their children, often because of stressors such as poverty, or who simply want guidance.
Home visiting can help counter inequalities, which arise from structural racism and economic disadvantage. Yet fewer than 2 percent of potentially eligible families statewide receive home visits.
Domestic violence, the leading cause of homelessness among women and children, is increasing during the pandemic, but a way for survivors to get “housing first” is a bright light.
While people from all socioeconomic backgrounds experience domestic violence, low-income survivors and immigrant women are especially at risk of becoming homeless due to lack of resources.
In normal times, medical training is challenging and stressful. The amount of time away from loved ones can bring giants to their knees. Add in the fears and uncertainties of a pandemic, I’m amazed that anyone, and any relationships, are surviving.
My heart goes out to the families, such as many of my patients at Harbor-UCLA, who are struggling to make ends meet, while also navigating all of their responsibilities and relationships, during the pandemic.
More than 7,000 young people ages 18 to 21 are in California’s foster care system. These young people, and others who recently aged out of foster care, are struggling under the weight of the pandemic and its economic fallout.
Meeting the needs of foster youth is also a racial justice issue. A disproportionate percentage of foster youth are Black or Native American, largely due to structural inequality and racism.
Growing up in Oakland, I quickly saw first-hand how racism resigns people of color, and Black Americans in particular, to shorter, sicker lives.
Data shows that African Americans in Alameda County live roughly seven years fewer than the county average.
If we act now, we can radically reshape our society in a positive way. Reducing the impact of and ultimately ending systemic racism has to be at the top of the list.
COVID-19 is decimating our outdated safety net, and the vital links between families and their local economic, health and social supports.
The pandemic has made “underlying conditions” the new code phrase for the social and health inequities disproportionately impacting black and brown communities.
Shelter-in-place policies are compounding the isolation, stress, misinformation and trauma that are common to many communities of color.
Low-income families can’t easily shop for groceries online, contributing to COVID-19 disparities—but allowing them to use food stamps online could help. Food policy advocates are asking the state to provide online purchasing opportunity for pregnant women and families with young children who get benefits through WIC.
Health equity is a key reason why allowing WIC recipients to shop online is so critical. California has the largest WIC program in the U.S. and most recipients are people of color.
The pandemic and protests have laid bare the depths of our nation’s disparities. Your race should not determine whether you live or die. It should not influence whether your doctor listens to you, or whether you can breathe clean air.
But—too often—it does.
In my own family, I’ve seen the results of racism and redlining play out over generations in Los Angeles, limiting where some family members could purchase homes, raise their children and retire.