An Important Message from Tierra’s CEO

 In Advocacy, Blog

In the last 15 weeks, Tierra has offered somewhere between 30 and 50 e-learning opportunities to over 600 people each day! This is 82% of our population served! In addition to our active and impressive e-learning schedule, staff mentors are reaching out to our associates to make sure they are accessing the schedule each day and that each person served knows how to get into his/her desired classes! All the while, we are still supporting a portion of our associates in-person, on a case-by-case basis. However impressive this New Normal is, we cannot be satisfied with this number because this means there are 135 people not participating. We have to find a way to forge ahead!

Along with our safer-at-home orders, we have witnessed the world finding its voice to stand against systemic injustices for people of color and ethnic diversity. Here at Tierra del Sol, we meet at the intersectionality of race, ethnicity, and disability and COVID-19 is ransacking these populations at an alarming rate.

In the Department of Developmental Services’ most recent report, of the 353,991 people served in the community, 596 have been impacted by COVID-19. See the chart here.

As you can see, 45% of these cases are Hispanic. According to the Washington Post, social vulnerability, crowded housing, and uninsured populations lead to these increased numbers. Here is a snapshot of the San Fernando Valley’s most uninsured communities in bold.

People with the highest risk factors, according to the CDC’s guidelines, live in the bolded areas below.

The areas that are majority-minority are as follows.

Are you seeing a pattern? Recently, there have been positive signs of returning to our New Normal. But sadly, the infection rate is going back up as is the hospitalization rate in Los Angeles County.

Tierra del Sol champions people with developmental disabilities in all walks of life regardless of ethnicity or color. We must continue to fight for access to healthcare. We must continue to be vigilant against the threat of this virus. We must find a way to stay safe while offering opportunities for learning and growth both virtually and in-person. Our fragile communities are at risk. We must stand together and create a New Normal that we can all be apart of.

Won’t you join me as we create a New Normal with safety and equity in mind?

Just a gentle reminder:

I wear my mask while in public for three reasons:

  1. Humility: I don’t know if I have COVID as it is clear that people can spread the disease before they have symptoms.
  2. Kindness: I don’t know if the person I am near has a kid battling cancer, or cares for their elderly mom. While I might be fine, they might not.
  3. Community: I want my community to thrive, businesses to stay open, employees to stay healthy. Keeping a lid on COVID helps us all!
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