Checking in: As CWC stays home, research and data will be our friends
At the Colorado Women’s College we are managing COVID19 in our own way.
My children are grown and out of the house, so I am not trying to educate and care for them. However, like my colleagues, I’m working on keeping the house clean and virus free all while working full time in a new virtual space. It is with privilege and great gratitude that I say I do not have to worry how I will make ends meet. I have an income, health insurance, and a home. Virtual team meetings, webinars, and messages from friends keep me connected.
Still, I worry for those who do not have these resources, connections, and health. And I wonder: What should the new “normal” look like when we [hopefully] finally emerge from this COVID19 pandemic?
The previous normal, of course, never worked for everyone. The global problems we faced before the pandemic, from climate change to growing inequality to the persistence of poverty to homelessness to threats to our democracy to armed conflict, and more – will still be here when it ends. Solving those problems requires that we lead with new perspectives grounded in equity and inclusion.
As someone blessed not to be overwhelmed by the everyday living in a COVID-19 world, my energy is in two places. First, I want to ensure that the “normal” that follows the pandemic does not define or, worse, send us backward on women’s rights and access to opportunities. Second, I want to engage in new research and courageous conversations that open up new frameworks for establishing a more equitable world.
Let’s use research and data about people’s experiences during this crisis to show, once and for all, why paid sick days and family medical leave must be part of any equitable future. Let’s put forth new new ways of thinking about healthcare, mental health, and our collective and personal safety nets where equity is a central goal.
These unprecedented times offer a unique opportunity to rethink how we do things and, in our resilience, to find solutions for the challenges we face. You can help by sharing your story, blog posts you love on social media using the hashtag #EquityIs.
(Or, email me directly at Nancy.Reichman@DU.edu.)
We are all in this together, and together we can imagine a future that is equitable and just.