When the coronavirus pandemic started to hit the world in 2020, it gave the wrong impression that it would affect everyone the same way, acting as a ‘great equalizer’. However, the effects of COVID-19 exacerbated structural injustices and the impact varied dramatically different depending on race, gender, class. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in May 2021, Hispanics/Latinos were twice as likely to get the virus in comparison to white adults, and 2.3 times more likely to die from it. Even as vaccines have become available, their distribution has also been affected by disparities of access.
For this class we will analyze discursivities that have been exposed by the pandemic and have since become topics of ethical and social reevaluation: health disparities, the distribution of labor, housing and transportation, language access, environmental racism (including activism against anti-Asian and anti-Black violence). At the same time, we will explore public policy and solidarity grassroot initiatives that have provided community support and programmatic responses on healthcare, social and racial justice, and climate issues to the future of US society.
Community testimonies and guest speakers, multimedia content, interdisciplinary readings, and class debates are intended to encourage reflection and to learn from underrepresented voices of the pandemic. This is a speaking seminar, open to all students, that will promote oral communication and critical thinking skills through discussions, projects, and prepared presentations.