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Response to Recent Events


June 2, 2020

Dear faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of the Carolina Population Center,

In the past months police killings of African Americans in multiple states and the differential impact of the many facets of the COVID19 pandemic on people of color in the United States have shone a bright light on racism of many forms and the inequalities it gives rise to. The killing of Mr. George Floyd in Minneapolis is the latest sickening example of patterns and practices that date back centuries. Feelings of anger, frustration, and sadness abound.  There is no place or excuse for such violence in our communities, nation, or world.

At the Carolina Population Center we believe that the personal rights, lives and dignity of every member of our community matter. We want CPC to be a welcoming place for everyone, where racism and discrimination are not tolerated, and where faculty, staff, and students can pursue research on a diverse array of questions, many of which are directly related to uncovering the origins, levels, and dynamics of inequality in the US and other societies.

This is an intensely difficult time. North Carolina’s own Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II delivered a thought-provoking pastoral letter on May 31. He invokes the past to remind us that progress is possible and urges us to take time to listen to the nation’s wounds and refuse to be comforted too quickly, suggesting the possibility that a better society will follow if the “screams and tears and protests shake the very conscience of this nation.”

People will process these events in myriad ways and decide how they can best make a difference in their professional and personal lives. To foster exchange of ideas, we are setting up a blog for CPC faculty and students to post public thoughts and research related to racism, protests, COVID-19 and the events that have brought us to this point. We also want to share three pieces that were published in recent weeks by CPC faculty, postdoctoral scholars, and trainees:

The Covid-19 Health Toll in the United States: Exposing Racism…Yet Again by Bob Hummer

Dying to Reopen: Comparing North Carolina and Georgia by Alexis Dennis and Nathan Dollar

COVID-19 is hitting black and poor communities the hardest, underscoring fault lines in access and care for those on the margins by Grace Noppert

Elizabeth Frankenberg

Linda Adair

Sian Curtis

Barbara Entwisle

Bob Hummer

Evie McKee

Amanda Thompson

Tim Van Acker