I-DIEM Receives Walmart Foundation Grant to Combat COVID-19 Health Disparities

Funding to Help Develop COVID-19 Education and Awareness for African-American Communities

ATLANTA – September 1, 2020 – The Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management was awarded a Walmart Giving Local Initiatives grant to develop a targeted outreach strategy for African-American communities which are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. 

The proposed project is a dual-purposed education and awareness campaign where the Institute will address what is currently needed for the Black community in the way of education and training. African-Americans represent 13.4% of the American population, according to the US Census Bureau, but counties with higher black populations account for more than half of all Covid-19 cases and almost 60% of deaths. 

“Currently, specific data on African-Americans and the pandemic has been limited and difficult to find, even skilled resources. Impacts of COVID-19 by race/ethnicity is often spread across multiple sources” says Chauncia Willis, I-DIEM Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer. 

This project aims to address that gap in data availability by providing a status report of COVID-19 on African-American populations and a public messaging toolkit that focuses on targeted outreach to African-American populations. The Institute will lead the development of a “COVID-19 and the African-American Community” publication and public messaging toolkit. Targeted strategies for public messaging will leverage I-DIEM’s partnerships with Historically-Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), and community serving organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and HealthCare Ready. 

Since 2019, I-DIEM has strived to serve as a resource and advocated for diversity and inclusion in Emergency Management. As COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the emergency management community, response and recovery from the implications of the pandemic require equitable approaches. I-DIEM strives to prioritize underserved communities and leverage the value of women, communities of color, and underprivileged groups. 

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