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CHICAGO: TBT NEWS Updates

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TOP NEWS: Humanitarian & businessman Dr. Willie Wilson is donating 1,0o0,000 face masks on Tuesday, April 28 at 10:00 am at the Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph Street, Chicago. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed an Executive Order requiring individuals to wear face coverings/mask when in a public place. The requirement goes into effect on May 1. “Senior citizens, residents living in underserved communities need masks to protect themselves from COVID-19 and to comply with Pritzker’s order. I am providing 20,000 face masks to each of the 50 Aldermen. I am asking them to ensure that the most vulnerable citizens in their wards receive a mask,” says Wilson. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Wilson has donated more than 1 million masks to Mount Sinai Hospital, Jackson Park Hospital, the CTA, Cook County Jail, FirefightersFOP, senior citizen homes, the Westside NAACP, and community organizations. Dr. Wilson has also personally donated $1 million to people that have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic and another $1 million to churches. For more information, contact Scott Winslow at 312.972.3929. – Content Curated By MG Media

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TBTNEWS HEADLINE

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Metro-Chicago’s YWCA CEO, Dorri McWhorter… CLICK FOR MORE INFORMATION

What COVID-19 Reveals About Racism in America

Unhooded and Exposed: It’s shameful that the novel coronavirus 2019 pandemic should be a model for human behavior. That is, COVID-19 does not discriminate. But among death, severe disease, and toilet paper depletion, xenophobia and racism to have found their way into how the disease will be remembered.

It would seem that such a formidable opponent would provide an opportunity for unity, trust, and ultimately – love between people. And though it has, the disease has also shone a harsh light on systemic injustices across communities locally and globally. The virus has been referred to as the “Chinese virus” or as the “Wuhan Flu” forcing Asian-Americans and Asian immigrants to defend their cultures and nationalities. Gun purchasing rates from these communities increased. Op-eds were written. Not for the first time in this country’s history, anti-Asian rhetoric went mainstream again.

Soon, COVID-19 will have a rampant spread to the African continent. In some countries, it’s already arrived. In a twist, African immigrants in China now face their own fears as people turn the subvert the narrative. That this deadly disease is brought by outsiders. That it’s foreign. That it’s of another color. Shifting the blame is easy. It’s also deadly.

So, we looked to the experts. The scientists, doctors, and elected officials. What do we do to protect ourselves? Surely stockpiled frozen food will not save me or those that I love. The advice that followed was mixed. Wear a mask. No, don’t. Get an N-95. Just kidding, these must be saved for healthcare workers. And finally – wear any sort of face covering. Act as if you have the virus. This is the current advice from the Centers for Disease Control. But wearing a mask is a privilege. Wearing a bandana is a greater one.

Face coverings inside usually conjure the image of a bank-robber, a thug, a gangster, a criminal. Public images that people of color have run the longest-running PR campaign against. And yet, in communities of color, where COVID-19 is hitting the hardest due to higher rates of pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, people are afraid to wear masks. Why? Because of the United States’ history of playing with the lives of people of color. Of “hands-up don’t shoot.” Of Trayvon Martin going to 7/11 to buy some snacks. Of Eric Garner’s “I can’t breathe.” Sandra Bland was just trying to drive a car. Because even when innocent, unarmed, and unmasked, there is a potential threat. Imagine what it’s like when masked?

It’s all systemic. It’s historical. And it’s always been life or death. It’s known that COVID-19 will impact communities of color economically at much higher rates. Populations that have had to work harder for longer to see even the horizon of the American dream are seeing it riding off into the sunset atop a stallion trained for racing. Like Sisyphus, the boulder is back at the bottom of the mountain. Now, more than ever, it is essential to support and uplift communities of color.

Every year, YWCAs across the country unite for our annual Stand Against Racism campaign. Typically, we host events in communities big and small, condemning racism, hatred, and bigotry. We do so to raise awareness, to support marginalized people, and because we know it is the right thing do to. Standing against racism is the work of justice. We mustn’t let the boulder fall.

YWCA USA’s hosted their first-ever Tele-Town Hall on Thursday, April 23rd. There were national leaders, and special guests included Janelle Monáe, on how they’re working to stand up to injustice. Sign our pledge to Stand Against Racism and write to your representatives. Listen to our Stand Against Racism episodes of Organize Your Butterflies and share them with your friends and family while socially distancing at home.

Finally, engage with us on social media by sharing our graphics and using the hashtag #StandAgainstRacism. As always, we are #StrongerTogether. – Content Curated By Sophia Clarke, Communications Associate, YWCA USA

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Lori E. Lightfoot

TBTNEWS ALERTS

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot joined Allison Arwady, M.D., Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), to launch Chi COVID Coach, a mobile-friendly, web-based application to support residents during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. This forward-thinking app will allow CDPH to communicate directly with Chicago residents who may be COVID-19 positive or experiencing symptoms, providing them important information and guidance.

“Whether it is data or technology, we are using all of the tools we have available to inform our decisions and further expand our citywide response to this pandemic,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “This new app will also allow us to communicate directly with residents in real-time, to answer questions about their symptoms, and determine if they need medical attention. And this app will allow us to build upon our forward-looking strategy by developing a city registry for a future vaccine.” Because the app was built on the Google Cloud it will allow CDPH to make adaptations and changes over the course of the pandemic. Residents can visit the app at www.Chicago.gov/covidcoach to start the coach.

The first app of its kind, Chi COVID Coach creates an opportunity for pre-registration for vaccine dissemination once it becomes available. Though a vaccine may be many months away, CDPH is already taking steps to prepare for mass vaccination. Because of this, everyone is encouraged to sign up, whether they have symptoms or not. Registration for the app is free and information will be protected and only used by CDPH for public health purposes related to COVID-19. For more information, contact the Mayor’s Press Office at 312.744.3334 or press@cityofchicago.org.

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CPS Increases Budgets to Advance Equity

Dear CPS Families and Supporters, After a successful engagement effort with our school communities earlier this year to identify opportunities to strengthen school budgeting, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is pleased to announce that schools will receive more than $125 million in additional funding for the 2020–21 school year.

The school budgets released today were shaped by recommendations from the district’s School Funding Working Group, as well as the invaluable feedback gathered from families, educators, and partners at six community budget forums held earlier this year. The investments outlined in these budgets reflect our commitment to promoting greater equity across the district and prioritizing resources for those schools and students who need them most.

Aligned with our Five-Year Vision and commitment toward Equity, the district is increasing its investment in Equity Grants to $44 million next school year. These funds, which go above and beyond the standard funding all schools receive, will prioritize 255 schools in our highest-need communities and provide them an average grant of $174,000.

As a result of community feedback, equity grants will now provide more than 100 schools in the 12 highest areas of need as identified by the UIC’s Economic Hardship Index with an additional $100,000 allocation to support positions dedicated to high-quality instruction next school year. As Chicago moves closer to our goal of providing every four-year-old in Chicago with access to free, full-day Pre-K, we are investing $18 million to serve more than 900 new students and add 44 full-day Pre-K classrooms next school year.

And for the first time in district history, CPS is investing $5 million to provide high school students with specialized programming to help them successfully navigate high school and graduate prepared to thrive in the college or career path of their choice. Largest-ever Special Education funding increases and more CPS nurses, social workers and case managers than ever before. The district will invest an additional $97 million in special education.

We will continue monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 crisis to determine its impact on other areas of operational spending, and we will release our full operating budget later this summer. These school budgets reflect our unwavering dedication to the students of Chicago. We remain committed to providing every child from every community with a world-class education and will continue planning for a successful upcoming school year. Sincerely, Janice K. Jackson, EdD, CEO, CPS. – Content Curated By MG Media

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