WISCONSIN — Governor Tony Evers announced a new initiative Wednesday that will address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Wisconsin’s communities of color.
The Just Recovery for Racial Equity initiative was created by Governor Evers, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), and the Population Health Institute (PHI) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
According to a press release from the governor, "Just Recovery will identify and support strategies for responding to COVID-19, recovery, and building resilience in communities of color by partnering with community-based organizations and local groups, including other government and social service agencies."
The initiative is funded by $2.6 million, which will allow the initiative to award grants to community-based organizations.
“COVID-19 has had a devastating and disproportionate impact on communities of color across the state of Wisconsin,” said Gov. Evers. “We must take urgent and meaningful action to change that, and the Just Recovery initiative gives us the opportunity to mobilize community-based organizations to partner in this important work.”
The press release stated that data shows "people of color in Wisconsin are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Black, Latinx, and Indigenous populations are significantly over-represented among COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths."
“We have been grappling with significant health and economic inequities in our state for years, and COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities have only made the situation more dire,” said Lt. Gov. Barnes.