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Inequality, Racism and COVID-19


Cynthia Garcia Coll

As this historic pandemic unfolds, we see Black, Indigenous, and people of color overrepresented in its dire consequences: increased numbers in positive COVID-19 cases and deaths, layoffs, evictions, and food insecurity. Existing inequality in educational opportunities, housing, healthcare, and employment and various expressions of racism (i.e. institutional, psychological, etc.) might explain the extreme vulnerability of these populations in natural and man-made disasters. What are the implications of these recurrent observations for local and national child and family policy? Cynthia García Coll is an adjunct professor in the Pediatrics Department at the University of Puerto Rico Medical School and the Charles Pitts Robinson and John Palmer Barstow Professor Emerita at Brown University. Prior to moving back to Puerto Rico in 2011, she was a professor of education, psychology and pediatrics for 30 years at Brown University. Her research focuses on the interplay of sociocultural and biological influences on child development, with particular emphasis on populations that live in at-risk conditions and/or are considered minorities. García Coll served as senior editor of Child Development and Developmental Psychology and has published over 150 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and books. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Puerto Rico, her master's degree from the University of Florida, and her Ph.D. from Harvard University.


Alumni/Reunion, Health/Wellness, Lecture/Talk, Research, Social Sciences, United States Focus