SAN DIEGO — A group of social activists here in San Diego hosted a panel to talk about the chaotic year we all experienced in 2020 and in particular, how communities of color were affected during the pandemic.
They talked about rebuilding their communities, but emphasized that the communities they experienced before the pandemic, need drastic changes and resources to do it.
“Our communities were already seeing the disparities within our communities. We were seeing the lack of resources in our communities. But then the moment that the pandemic came about, it was there. It was in our face,” said Community Activist Griselda Ramirez.
Rise San Diego is a non-profit organization that works to foster community building, leadership skills and civic engagement in urban neighborhoods. After a tumultuous 2020 left people of color heavily impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic and racial turmoil across the country, panelists were candid about how to move forward.
“I think Black people, we have been in a pandemic for generations. So, when we talk about rebuilding, what are we rebuilding?” said Social Activist Tasha Williamson.
Williamson was joined on the panel by Griselda Ramirez, Joseph Ruanto-Ramirez and Khalid with Pillars of the Community. They talked about reimagining communities that not only hold each other accountable but hold government agencies accountable too.
“So, when we talk about chaos, come to Southeast San Diego and experience the life of a young Black man walking to school right, and the harassment by the police and all of the different things,” said Khalid Alexander with Pillars of the Community.
Rise San Diego's CEO says the events of 2020 enlightened the world about the issues they face and now it’s time to move in a different direction.
“It’s not just about rebuilding, it’s about dismantling some of the things that have been harmful to these communities, envisioning what these communities actually should be,” said Tony Young, Rise San Diego President & CEO.
Rise San Diego says it will continue to have these discussions and keep the pressure on lawmakers who manage the resources communities need.
As we continue our commitment to amplifying Black voices, News 8's LaMonica Peters took part in a panel discussion about how to improve media coverage of minority communities. You can watch the full live stream below: