Neither the viral pandemic or the racial pandemic were inevitable, Dr. Kendi noted. “There are policies that we can change to ensure that another Breonna Taylor doesn’t become a hashtag,” he said. “That inspires me.”
Dr. Kendi also noted that the Center will be researching and tracking the economic impacts of racism, including how during this pandemic, Black and Brown communities have suffered the brunt of job losses, evictions, business closures and housing insecurity.
Rolley, responding to a question from Dr. Kendi, noted that as The Foundation responds to the urgency of this moment, “it has been an exciting and an exhausting time in the Foundation’s history.”
“Health has been a major part of our work for the last 107 years. A pursuit of equity and equal opportunity likewise has consistently been in our DNA in terms of the work that we do,” he said. “The pivot for us was the urgency around a global pandemic… Our mission is promoting the wellbeing of humanity. Devoid of an equity agenda, though, you can’t promote humanity’s well-being.”