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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. 

About Philanthropy at Walmart represents the philanthropic efforts of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. By leaning in where our business has unique strengths, we work to tackle key social issues and collaborate with others to spark long-lasting systemic change. Walmart has stores in 27 countries, employing 2 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. is helping people live better by supporting programs that work to accelerate upward job mobility for frontline workers, address hunger and make healthier, more sustainably-grown food a reality, and build strong communities where Walmart operates. To learn more, visit or find us on Twitter @walmartorg.  



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