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Academy Members and partners joined the Academy’s second Virtual Roundtable, Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis: Addressing the Disproportionate Impacts on Low-Income Communities, on Tuesday, April 21, from 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT / 11:00 am - 12:00 pm PDT.

The online discussion was anchored by several brief presentations. (See below for speakers.)


Watch the full event. 


Topic Overview:

The COVID-19 crisis underscores the consequences of longstanding and pervasive structural inequities in the United States. Existing policies have kept in place socioeconomic disparities including racially segregated communities, concentrated poverty, inadequate housing and public transportation, unequal access to educational, economic, and job opportunities, and unequal access to health care.

As a result, low-income communities, especially those of color, are suffering disproportionately from the pandemic with insufficient support from federal and state programs. African Americans comprise less than one third of the population in Milwaukee, Chicago, and Louisiana, but represent nearly three-quarters of those dying of COVID-19 related problems in those jurisdictions. In New York City, the largest percentage of COVID-19 related deaths have been borne by the Latinx community.

In recognition of their increased vulnerability, legislation enacted in response to the pandemic includes some provisions to address the needs of low-income communities and communities of color. Although these provisions ameliorate some of the negative economic and health impacts of the crisis, there remain substantial gaps in the support needed for low-income communities.

The discussion at this Virtual Roundtable focused on underlying structural inequities and explored the government’s response, queueing up a discussion of how future federal and state legislation might further tackle the current needs of low-income individuals and communities.


Are you analyzing the recent federal responses to COVID-19, including implications for low-income communities? Please contact Bill Arnone, CEO, at



Indivar Dutta-Gupta

Georgetown Center on Poverty & Inequality





Sara Rosenbaum

George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services





Moderator: Helaine Olen

Washington Post

April 21st, 2020 from  2:00 PM to  3:00 PM
Topics Poverty and Income Assistance
Contact Name Tom Novotny
Contact Email