NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — News 2 has reported on the racial disparities in Tennessee’s COVID-19 deaths.
Black residents comprise nearly half of Davidson County’s deaths. According to the latest census estimates, Blacks comprise only 17% percent of the state’s population.
The state health department has created the Health Disparities Task Force and launched an entire campaign aimed at addressing the disparities.
“The disparities across the state that we see in general, align with what we see for COVID,” said Dr. Kimberly Lamar, Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Health Disparities Elimination.
Lamar is leading the state’s task force and said the goal is of each public service announcement is to answer questions but also to promote understanding.
“It’s not just a conversation about poverty, its a broader conversation…we all have experienced some level of disparity in our health—across sectors,” said Lamar.
Some of the public service announcements are in Spanish, and all will be broadcast on television and online.
“It’s also about starting conversations about disparities where people impacted by them – are including the conversation…in the problem solving,” said Lamar.
Rashad Rayford, a Nashville-based spoken-word artist, was asked to write a piece for one of the announcements.
He said this of his involvement, “You have a write to be heard, a write to be seen. What I share is in hopes to shed light on the issues our community is facing. Communities of color are being hit really hard right now with this pandemic.”
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.