The University of Nevada, Reno’s Department of Gender, Race and Identity will discuss the long-term social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in communities of color, immigrant communities, and in relation to gender and family, with two upcoming events this month.
From 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, GRI will host a panel of community and campus speakers in the University’s Joe Crowley Student Union Theatre. “The Pandemic – Where are we now?” panel will feature Donald Griffin of Black Wall Street, Vida Lin of the Asian Community Development Council, and Kristen Kennedy of the Domestic Violence Resource Center.
“COVID-19 and its social, economic and political consequences affected all of us differently, in ways that are related to our own racial, ethnic, class, gender and sexual identities,” Prisca Gayles, assistant professor of Gender, Race and Identity, said. “The current cumulative data shows that, due to inequities in the health system, Black, Latinx and Indigenous communities have experienced higher rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths. Hate crimes against Asian American and Pacific Islander communities rose drastically during the pandemic and have not declined. Violence against women increased to record levels around the world following the lockdowns. The panelists for the Feb. 8 event will speak directly to these issues and how they have tackled them locally.”
Additionally, there will be a storytelling workshop from 12 to 1:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10 in the University’s JCSU Graduate Student Lounge. The workshop, led by Vanessa Vancour of Vancourage, will allow participants to share their own experiences during the pandemic. This workshop has limited space, so attendees are encouraged to register in advance.
To highlight her own cultural identity and experiences, Jahi, a Salvadoran-American painter and social worker, painted “Stop Dancing for the White Man,” 2020. This piece was selected by GRI to promote the panel and workshop this February.
“The intentions behind this painting are to highlight the complex emotions in being appreciative for this country who provided refuge to our immigrant parents while simultaneously recognizing their displacement is due to U.S. intervention,” Jahi said. “The upside-down American flag symbolizes dire distress to life or property, something that feels like a constant to marginalized communities during times of national crisis such as the pandemic.”
GRI will be hosting numerous events throughout the spring semester. Each month will focus on a specific topic:
- February 2023: The Pandemic – Where Are We Now?
- March 2023: Decolonizing the Outdoors
- April 2023: Visions of Change
The events are part of a yearlong series funded by the American Council of Learned Societies and organized by GRI that address the broad theme of “Community-Based Knowledges and Visions for Racial, Health and Climate Justice.”