In Focus: Racial Equity & Social Justice Resources

Racial Equity & Social Justice Resources

CCI is committed to supporting leaders and communities across the nation with navigating the COVID-19 crisis. On your behalf, we’ve carefully curated free digital resources and tools that offer guidance for understanding the complexities of the pandemic, developing strategic response and recovery efforts, and preparing for a world beyond this current moment. Our COVID-19 resources are arranged in three categories to make it easier for you to delve into the material: racial equity & social justice, outreach & communications, and affordable housing & community development. If you have come across other resources that you’ve found to be valuable, please share them with us by sending an email to cci@centerforcommunityinvestment.org.


The COVID-19 pandemic has touched people and communities across the United States. As of this writing, all 50 states plus the District of Columbia have reported confirmed cases, tallying more than 950,000 illnesses and nearly 54,000 deaths. But the pandemic is also revealing and deepening the racial and economic inequities that have long existed in our nation.

The combined health and economic devastation have emerged out of and exacerbated the inequities already felt by black and brown communities, immigrant communities, indigenous communities, incarcerated communities, and low-income communities. The existing data reveals that the COVID-19 death rate in the U.S. is staggering for people of color—especially for Black Americans. This disproportionate death toll is a byproduct of the racist policies of the past and present.

How can we provide necessary relief and drive meaningful investments to the communities that have been hit hardest by COVID-19? This unprecedented moment calls for us to put racial equity at the center of our response strategies and policies—and keep it there—so that our post-pandemic world doesn’t replicate past systemic disinvestment.

The following resources offer a starting point.

1. An Equitable Systems Transformation Framework for COVID-19

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the U.S., equity initiatives are in danger of being shelved. In response, the National Innovation Service (NIS) has developed a framework that highlights opportunities to ensure that the voices and experiences of marginalized communities are included in policies and decisions related to COVID-19.

2. Principles for a Common-Sense, Street-Smart Recovery

PolicyLink released principles for a “commonsense, street smart recovery” to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and foster equitable community responses. The principles provide a blueprint for leaders who are committed to building an inclusive economy and equitable nation that works for all.

3. 10 Equity Implications of the Coronavirus COVID-19 Outbreak in the United States

The NAACP has released a detailed resource that outlines actions to take—in both the short- and long-term—to meet the immediate needs of those most vulnerable to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Further Reading:

  • COVID-19 Cases in the U.S.: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not know the exact number of COVID-19 illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths for a variety of reasons. But the national public health institute is keeping tabs on U.S. COVID-19 activity through the CDC COVID Data Tracker. The tracker, which is updated daily, allows users to interact with a variety of data on COVID-19.
  • The Color of Coronavirus: Only a handful of state and local authorities have been reporting COVID-19 death data disaggregated by race and ethnicity. The American Public Media (APM) Research Lab, a team of researchers and journalists focused on data-driven reporting, has analyzed the available data to provide a closer look at COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. and where they fall along racial and ethnic lines.

Transforming investment in communities

CCI is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The California Endowment, and The Annie E. Casey Foundation.

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