Health equity was a challenge before coronavirus

Health and wealth equity didn’t exist in the U.S. before COVID-19, and the pandemic only exacerbated racial, ethnic, gender and geographic disparities. To address these issues and provide a platform for collaborative work toward solutions, NCRC members and partners in North Carolina held a 3-day special online event Oct. 13-15, 2020: Invest in Health and Wealth: Stabilizing Underserved Communities While Fighting a Pandemic.

The event brought together community leaders, financial institutions, health care leaders, advocacy groups and public officials to discuss ways to invest in health, wealth and housing in underserved communities across North Carolina.

We are no longer able to pretend that inequality is about how much stuff you have. In America, it’s about life and death. We don’t need to get back to normal after coronavirus. We need to leap forward to something much better,” Jesse Van Tol, CEO of NCRC, said at the event.

The program, which included a mix of keynote presentations, panel discussions and small breakout discussions among participants,  featured keynote addresses from Dr. John Lumpkin, President of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation; Bill Bynum, CEO of Hope; and Pamela Wideman, Director of Charlotte’s Housing & Neighborhood Services Department.

Here are some highlights from the event: 

Alyssa Wiltse is NCRC’s media manager. 

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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