Session: Stronger Together: Community Responses to Address the Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Communities of Color (Society for Social Work and Research 26th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Racial, Social, and Political Justice)

309 Stronger Together: Community Responses to Address the Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Communities of Color

Sunday, January 16, 2022: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM
Independence BR B, ML 4 (Marriott Marquis Washington, DC)
Cluster: Race and Ethnicity
Symposium Organizer:
David Becerra, PhD, Arizona State University
The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected communities of color, specifically Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities (Artiga & Rae, 2020). Systemic inequities, racism, and discrimination, have exacerbated the negative physical and mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on these communities because they often lack health insurance or access to quality health care providers, as well as culturally and linguistically appropriate healthcare treatment (Raifman & Raifman, 2020). Despite these issues, Black, Indigenous, and Latinx populations possess unique cultural, familial, and community strengths that can serve as protective factors.

Responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have varied, but more successful responses to address issues facing communities of color as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have included community participation and the inclusion of culturally and linguistically appropriate information in outreach, communication, and interventions. The purpose of this symposium is to highlight various examples of community responses to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first paper of the symposium is a qualitative study of how school social workers (SSWs) responded to the COVID-19 pandemic to try and assist students and their families. The majority of SSWs in this study worked in schools that served a student population where the majority were Students of Color. The findings indicate SSWs had increased contact and interaction with students’ parents. However, findings highlight the barriers SSWs encountered when providing social-emotional telehealth interventions, including low attendance resulting in ineffective group interventions, technology-specific barriers, and concerns regarding students’ privacy.

The second paper in the symposium is a qualitative study of the adaptation of the Your Family, Your Neighborhood (YFYN) school-based, Latinx family intervention program using Photovoice and virtual modifications as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings indicated the challenges of adapting a community-based intervention with Latinx families to a virtual modality and embedding a Photovoice component during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, findings also indicated the adaptations using Photovoice allowed for families to capture needs as well as strengths in their community.

The third paper in the symposium is a qualitative study which assessed awareness, experiences, concerns, attitudes, needs, knowledge and misconceptions regarding COVID-19 testing, prevention, research participation, vaccination uptake, and medical mistrust among members of Southern Arizona’s urban American Indian/Alaska Native communities. The findings indicated a distrust of COVID-19 vaccines as a result of historical and current traumas. Participants identified a need for more transparency and visibility via the use of American Indian/Alaska Native role model stories to illustrate the experiences of those who received the vaccine. Ultimately this information is significant for enhancing public health messaging efforts to increase vaccine acceptance and uptake.

This symposium disseminates research findings on important issues facing various populations and communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This information can be beneficial to researchers, community organizations, and schools who are working with diverse populations to address issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Symposium participants will also gain deeper understanding of the culturally and linguistically appropriate responses and adaptations to address issues communities of color face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

* noted as presenting author
School Social Work Practice in Diverse Communities during COVID-19: Implications for Practice and Research
Ashley-Marie Hanna Daftary, PhD, University of Nevada, Reno; Stephanie Lechuga-Peña, PhD, Arizona State University; Jandel Crutchfield, PhD, LCSW, University of Texas at Arlington; Erin Sugrue, PhD, Augsburg University
Adapting Photovoice to a Virtual Modality with Latinx Families during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons Learned from Your Family, Your Neighborhood
Stephanie Lechuga-Peña, PhD, Arizona State University; Monica Gutierrez, MSW, Arizona State University; Nidia Hernandez, MSW, Arizona State University; David Becerra, PhD, Arizona State University; Lizette Viramontes, MSW, Arizona State University
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