I am appealing to UK based black academics, senior leaders, and influencers. The problem is real, and the fears in our communities, the black communities are soaring. Alas, anyone of us can be the next victim. As the Government keeps announcing in the daily briefings on the BBC, people are worried about almost all aspects of their lives. As far as the national efforts are going, we are seeing how it is working. We can all make our judgements based on any number of situations. We have also seen in the news of a review into the disproportionately high impact on BAME communities. That is not the point of this post.
Nonetheless, from a critical realist perspective studying and reflecting on the information that we are all receiving, I see how some people in our communities are using it to measure the perceived response of the pandemic and the lockdown on their lives. Several theories are being deduced and, in some ways, causing disinformation and disenfranchisement. I find myself asking; what more can we do to help people from our communities, the black communities in the UK who are so severely affected. The reality is that the figures or the extent of the effects will not show up in the statistics. Still, we cannot ignore the presuppositions formed by experience and ethnographic accounts on the ground.
Numerous questions are being asked in the communities without answers: for example, how come there is such a disproportionately high number of ethnic minority workers on the frontline dying? Despite the announcements that pregnant women were in the high-risk category, thus needed shielding, how come a 28-year-old black woman who was pregnant died from COVID19? Was she still working in a high-risk environment while heavily pregnant? Then there is the immense challenge of nursing homes, residential care, and the wider care industry where many of the migrants’ work, still not being adequately protected and deaths not appropriately recorded? How are the people who are losing loved ones paying the expensive funeral costs? All these and many more questions relate heavy-heartedly to black people.
While we wait for answers to the questions, perhaps we can start making a difference by helping ourselves to prepare for the fallout from the COVID19 pandemic and the aftereffects. The economy is shrinking; therefore, we will inevitably see job losses, families losing their principal breadwinners, people needing career changes, or all of us craving for something positive to work towards and keep our minds away from the negativity. That is where you come in, by teaching key competencies, whether new work-related soft skills or refreshing somebody’s job search and interview skills or how one can leverage available opportunities. The joint efforts can help people isolate positively.
My appeal to you is that teach and share something positive. Let us make a difference. Let us help build a positive future and legacy out of this grim period in which we are living. This teaching can reach and benefit other communities too, but my main call to action is to my fellow black leaders. Let us originate the teachings as some of us can relate better to what we are hearing in the community and help to frame the material in a way that makes sense to our people. It also shows that the positive role models they have do care.
Join me, share your expertise through video or audio recordings, then send them to me. We will build a database, and that can be accessed by those who need it and maybe cannot afford to pay for expensive courses.
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