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Community Engagement, Awareness, and Vocational Challenges for African-Americans During Disasters – Factsheet

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Key Facts:

Fact 1:

African-Americans are more likely to contract coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), be hospitalized for it, become incapacitated, lose employment, and/or die of the disease when compared with other racial/ethnic groups. Vocational, psychosocial, sociocultural, and environmental vulnerabilities, compounded by preexisting health conditions, exacerbate this health disparity.

Fact 2:

Racial/ethnic minority populations have historically borne a disproportionate burden of illness, hospitalizations, and death during public health emergencies, including the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic and the Zika virus epidemic.

Fact 3:

Racial/ethnic minority populations are disproportionately affected by COVID-19, as they are by many diseases. These negative effects include unemployment and underemployment and vocational disruption.

Fact 4:

Public health and service delivery programs such as Rehabilitation Counseling can respond to disaster, enhance preparedness, and create opportunities for new approaches to intentionally engage socially vulnerable communities and individuals.

Fact 5:

The impact of unemployment and underemployment on African- Americans necessitates more empirical research related to the needs, services, and plans to assist African-Americans during a disaster.

Fact 6:

Community and public health leaders, allied health professionals, and counselors (including Rehabilitation Counselors) must consider the economic, vocational and health inequities among racial/ethnic minority populations, understanding policy implications, and work to develop culturally responsive supports for African-American communities as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves and resolves.
African-Americans are more likely to contract coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), be hospitalized for it, become incapacitated, lose employment, and/or die of the disease when compared with other racial/ethnic groups.

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