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ComSciConcepts: Combatting Covid-19 with Black Communities

Location: Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Health disparities left Black Americans vulnerable to contracting Covid-19 and dying from it at nearly two times greater than the rest of the population. The ComSciCon webinar aimed to build trust with black communities to fight inequalities that lead to racial disparity in healthcare.

Black Americans are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 due to systemic inequities, social determinants of health that are influenced by implicit bias, and racial discrimination which have perpetuated and worsened racial disparities in healthcare during the pandemic. Some of these long-standing systemic inequities are due to scientists and science communicators which have caused distrust between scientists and black communities. The ‚ÄúComSciConcepts: Combatting COVID-19 with Black Communities‚ÄĚ webinar addressed this issue by building on ComSciCons existing infrastructure of training graduate student science communicators by further providing the latest information on COVID-19 in Black communities, resources on the systemic inequities that lead to this racial disparity in healthcare, training on science communication, and building trust with Black communities. The webinar provided funding and further support to projects of attendees that are currently or wish to address these issues directly. The event took place on June 2, 2021, at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA.


Dr. Gabriela Fernandez (Metabolism of Cities Living Lab, US), Taylor Contreras (Harvard University, Department of Physics, US), Jordan Chapman (University of Georgia, US), Chad Singleton (Southern New Hampshire University, US), TiAir Riggins (Michigan State University, US), and Rob Campbell (Northeastern University, US). Dr. Chiquita Mays (Wellstar’s Covid-19 Taskforce and DEI Advosory Council, US), Nicholas St. Fleur (STAT News Journalist, US), Anicca Harriot (University of Maryland School of Medicine, US), Dr. Reyhaneh Maktoufi (Rita Allen Foundation Civic Science Fellow in Misinformation at WGBH/NOVA, US), Dr. Jaye Gardiner (Fox Chase Cancer Center, US), and Lanell Williams (Harvard University, US). Special thanks to ComSciCon Harvard (US).