Data 4 Black Lives: A Movement Roundtable on COVID-19

On April 15th, I joined a roundtable hosted by Data 4 Black Lives (D4BL) that was an insightful conversation about data collection with regards to COVID-19 in the black community.

Every disease has two causes, the first is pathophysiological and the second is political. Black communities today are impoverished, segregated and defunded by design - a public health and economic crisis created by government and state policies that chose winners and losers. Black people are being turned away from hospitals, our young and elderly alike are perishing from being denied a COVID-19 test. These are stark revelations of the ongoing conditions that have denied our humanity and made it too costly, too impossible to survive.

Attended by over 800 people, this roundtable was a meeting of the minds for  activists, researchers, and journalists committed to understanding the complex narrative of data in black communities. Speakers on the roundtable included:

  • Dr. Irene Headen: Assistant Professor of Black Health at the Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health 
  • Zinzi Bailey: Social epidemiologist and assistant scientist at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
  • Dominique Day: Vice-chair of the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent and Executive Director of Daylight 
  • Meme Styles: President and Founder of the award-winning nonprofit MEASURE
  • Courtni Andrews: ORISE Fellow to Minority Health and Health Equity Office at the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention
  • Nchedochukwu Ezeokoli: Healer, strategist, and writer committed to social change and justice for marginalized groups 
  • Michelle Wilson: Senior Program Manager at Women Engaged and data informed political strategist and community organizer
  • Lisa Clinton: Southerners On New Ground’s Regional Bailout Coordinator & Case Manager, Antagonist of the system, and a Spiritual Gangstress amongst other things


Yesterday, Data 4 Black Lives shared a graphic recording of the meeting that summarizes what was covered and everyone who shared critical next steps on addressing anti-racism in black communities that were hit hard by COVID-19.  As a part of the D4BL community and a supporter, we wanted to share these notes with our community. Check out more below: