Florida State University

College of Social Sciences & Public Policy

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Scholars examine racial, gender, economic disparities in Covid-19 pandemic

Professors from the Florida State University College of Social Sciences and Public Policy will present an online webinar panel discussion on “The COVID-19 Effect: Tackling Racial, Economic, and Gender Inequity.”

Scholars from the college’s departments of Sociology, Public Administration and Urban and Regional Planning will share their research on the varied and disproportionate impacts of the pandemic on the retail sector, communities of color and women.  

Panelists will reflect on how their research contributes to the evidence necessary for us to develop responses through policy and planning approaches. Webinar attendees will have the opportunity to pose their own questions and engage in discussion with the panelists about the pandemic, its impacts and how we can respond.  

The event is free and open to the public:

“The COVID-19 Effect: Tackling Racial, Economic, and Gender Inequity”

4:00 p.m.
Register at https://fsu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Bo3pNMjhS6uqMjn383K8SQ
(A Zoom link will be sent upon registration.)

William Butler

Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning William Butler, who will moderate the webinar, brought together this group of panelists to “shed light on how the pandemic puts structural racism, sexism, economic inequalities, and other forms of systemic discrimination in such sharp relief.”

Butler said the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy is uniquely suited to identify and elaborate on these inequities highlighted by the pandemic and, most important, to propose potential solutions.

“As social scientists, our research studies the social, political, spatial and economic implications of a range of issues in society,” he said. “As scholars of public policy, we wrestle with the tough question: ‘What are we going to do about it?’”

Panelists Patricia Homan (Sociology) and James Wright (Public Administration) will present research clarifying how structural racism exacerbates racial and ethnic inequalities of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts.

Homan has done extensive research on how the virus is hitting older Black and Latinx populations the hardest and how systemic inequality results in poor health outcomes. She is the author of the study  “The Color of COVID-19: Structural Racism and the Pandemic’s Disproportionate Impact on Older Racial and Ethnic Minorities,” recently published in the Journals of Gerontology.

Wright is the founding co-director of the Social Justice and Innovation Lab in the Askew School at FSU and co-author of the recently published study “Social Equity and COVID ‐19: The Case of African Americans” on the disproportionate effect of the virus on Black communities.

Daniel Fay (Public Administration) will share his work on how gender-based violence and the collapse of the labor market have disproportionately impacted women during the pandemic. He is the founding co-director of the Social Justice and Innovation Lab. His research interests include diversity issues in public management. 

Kerry Fang (Urban and Regional Planning) will describe her early results in research on the retail sector and broader economic impacts.  Her work focuses on economic development and land use, examining why some regions are rich while others are poor and what policy tools can help create jobs and boost innovation. She also studies the consequences of economic development.