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The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionally affected vulnerable communities across the United States, including racial and ethnic minorities and immigrant groups. Many face severe challenges in meeting the essential needs of their families and handling mental health issues, both of which have been exacerbated by the prolonged stress and isolation during the pandemic.To better support these vulnerable communities and to ensure that Tulsa's emergency services provide equitable access to all of its residents, New American Economy (NAE) worked with the City of Tulsa and local community organizations to survey Tulsans about their experiences during the pandemic. The COVID-19 Community Impact Survey conducted targeted outreach between February and May of 2021 to Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) and immigrant communities in Tulsa about the essential needs of their families; the impact of COVID-19 on their wellbeing; and the help they received from local organizations.
In 2020 the New American Economy (NAE), wanted to better understand why COVID-19 had such disproportionately severe economic and health impacts on BIPOC and immigrant communities in 5 cities. LCF Georgia and the Atlanta Mayor's Office of Immigrants Affairs expanded the scope of the data collection from a city to a state-wide effort and incorporated translations and outreach to communities that spoke languages other than English and Spanish with particular emphasis on Portuguese and Mayan languages.The Georgia-specific analysis centers on comparing different ways in which the crisis was experienced by immigrants, children of immigrants, non-immigrants, and Metro vs. Outside Metro Atlanta.
As communities across the United States work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession while also grappling with a surge in new cases, it's clear that the impact on Americans has been unequal. More so than previous crises, COVID-19 exposed gaps in access to basic information, services, and social safety-net support that disproportionately impacted Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) and immigrant communities. These communities have shouldered a greater share of the economic and health-related consequences of the pandemic, and without targeted efforts to promote equitable disaster response and recovery, they will be more vulnerable to future emergencies.In this report, we provide lessons and guidance for how cities can equitably respond to COVID-19 and future crises based on our five-city COVID-19 Community Impact Survey, a year-long effort to document best practices generated by the Cities Index Working Group and other leading municipalities across the country, and findings from Year 3 of the NAE Cities Index. Our findings shed new light on the ways in which COVID-19 affected communities of color and immigrant communities, including challenges they faced in accessing timely information, health care, utility and rental assistance, and other crucial services during some of the most difficult months of the pandemic. Data gathered in 17 languages by community partners also reveals the difficulties many residents will face as the recovery continues in the months ahead. Finally, this report highlights the varied and often creative ways cities have stepped in to fill gaps in the federal response, and includes recommendations for how local governments and community leaders can help promote a more equitable, inclusive response to future disasters and emergencies.