Antiracism Commission To Address Health Disparities, Systemic Racism in Online Forum

On Tuesday, April 28 from 6-7:45 p.m., the Antiracism Commission of the Diocese of Chicago will host an online forum titled “COVID-19, Health Disparities and Systemic Racism: How do we respond as people of faith?” Register online.

Speakers will include:

Rebecca Linder Blachly, director, Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations

The Very Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas, dean, Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary

Laura Leon, health reform program manager and advocate

The Rev. Fulton Porter, rector, St. Thomas, Chicago and hospital physician

Derrick Dawson of the Antiracism Commission will moderate the panel discussion, which will be followed by small group discussions and a question and answer session with the panel.

The event, which will be held via videoconference on Zoom, is open to the public. Capacity is limited and advanced registration is required. Register online. Spanish translation and Spanish-language discussion groups will be available.

“The coronavirus has illuminated our country’s history of health disparities for people of color,” said Rory Smith, a member of the Antiracism Commission and of St. Thomas, Chicago who helped organize the event. “The commission works to raise awareness that these health disparities are one of multiple byproducts of systemic racism including the lack of quality and affordable health care, education, housing, and employment. These disparities create a subclass of ‘essential’ workers who must work or starve in the midst of this pandemic.

“We believe that with awareness, people of faith will be compelled to address the immediate needs of adversely impacted individuals and first responders” he said. “We also believe, lest history continues to repeat itself on the backs of people of color, that people of faith need to work together to change the policies, rules and laws that perpetuate systemic inequalities.”


Welcome — Marvin Hill and Bob Purcell, Antiracism Commission co-chairs

Welcome and Opening Prayer: Bishop Lee

Introductions: Derrick Dawson

Panel Discussion

Breakout Rooms:  Given what we have heard tonight, what are we called to do as people of faith?

Small Group Reports

Q&A Session

Closing Prayer and Dismissal: Bishop Lee