Black and Brown Americans are disproportionately impacted by two public health crises -- COVID-19 and the epidemic of gun violence. And while we have long known that Black women are more than twice as likely to be shot by an intimate partner than white women, there is new evidence showing that Black women have also been particularly hard hit by the health and economic devastation caused by the virus. Systemic health and social inequities have led to higher rates of hospitalization or death from COVID-19 in Black and Brown communities overall and the instability and economic devastation associated with the pandemic, along with unemployment and increases in firearm purchases, have contributed to a spike in every-day gun violence in major American cities.
This is why it’s imperative for policymakers to listen to the needs of organizers, survivors, and leaders who are tackling these duel public health pandemics and invest and empower communities on the frontlines.
We are calling on Congress to make robust investments in violence intervention programs that have successfully decreased rates of gun violence by addressing its underlying causes, including lack of economic investment and employment opportunities -- both of which have only been exacerbated by COVID-19.
Our policymakers have a responsibility to address the needs of the communities most impacted by the ongoing national public crisis. The right to live in safe and just communities and to participate in our great democracy are issues every single lawmakers, regardless of partisan ideology, should be able to support.