The novel coronavirus, more commonly known as COVID-19, struck the US in March of 2020. The virus soon turned into a nationwide and global pandemic, where Black Americans in Michigan, and specifically the Metro Detroit regions were devastated. Wayne County was hit the hardest, where Black residents in Detroit represented nearly 90% of deaths from COVID-19. Simultaneously, the racial injustices of Black Americans killed by the hands of those in law enforcement boiled over into mainstream awareness with the murder of George Floyd in May 2020 and the subsequent protests of his death. While the nation sheltered-in-place for COVID-19 safety precautions, they witnessed both Mr. Floyd’s death and also how peaceful protesters were mistreated and abused, while trying to obtain justice for our fallen community member. These events prompted the National Association of Black Psychologists to address these injustices publicly, along with multiple regional ABPsi chapters speaking out.

 

To address the combination of racial injustice and COVID-19 related racial health disparities locally, ABPsi Detroit hosted its first ever virtual symposium on June 27, 2020, titled "The Talk" and COVID-19: The Influence of Racism and Racial Socialization in a Global Pandemic.” Our keynote speaker, Riana Anderson, PhD, gave a powerful presentation addressing the double pandemic of COVID-19 and racial discrimination for marginalized groups. Dr. Anderson's keynote specifically addressed how, “for Black youth and adults, prolonged exposure to racial discrimination has resulted in debilitating psychological, behavioral, and health outcomes. To help their children prepare for and prevent the deleterious consequences of discrimination, many Black parents utilize racial socialization or communication about racialized experiences. And yet, during the COVID-19 global pandemic, the heightened attention to racism plaguing Black communities through virus transmission, treatment, and mortality has both heightened the need for and changed the content of racial socialization. As such, how racial socialization processes and skills development can help youth and parents heal from the effects of past, current, and future racial trauma is important. Greater racial socialization competency is proposed as achievable through intentional and mindful practice, thus, this symposium will explore theories and practices important in the healing processes of racial trauma for participants, clinicians, and researchers alike, especially in times of exceptional stress."

This sold-out event was attended by over 100 attendees from around the nation. To address ongoing community and professional concerns related to racial disparities and the COVID-19 pandemic ABPsi Detroit’s 2022 Spring Symposium will focus on racial health equity and COVID-19 vaccinations in our community. More details about this event to come! 

 

 

As of November 6, 2021, there are 1,157,606 confirmed cases of COVID and 22,747 deaths in Michigan.

 

The State of Michigan is working around the clock to test and treat COVID-19 patients. Learn more about the state of Michigan’s response to COVID-19 by visiting the state website https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/.

Children ages 5 to 11 are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine. Find a vaccine near you at https://www.vaccines.gov/. Or call the COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136 (press 1) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.

 

References:

Ray, R., Morgan, J. F., Wileden, L., Elizondo, S., & Wiley-Yancy, D. Examining and Addressing COVID-19 Racial Disparities in Detroit.

Hankivsky, O., Grace, D., Hunting, G., Giesbrecht, M., Fridkin, A., Rudrum, S., Ferlatte, O. and Clark, N. (2014). An intersectionality-based policy analysis framework: critical reflections on a methodology for advancing equity. International journal for equity in health, 13(1),1-16.

https://www.clickondetroit.com/health/2021/11/06/michigan-covid-heres-what-to-know-nov-6-2021/#//

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/us/michigan-covid-cases.html?auth=login-google

ABPsi Detroit and COVID-19