Our New Report: Repairing the Cracks

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Dear New Jersey Institute for Social Justice friend,

Like with so many other crises, communities of color have been hit disproportionately hard from the COVID-19 pandemic, including in New Jersey, where we have the second highest death rate in the country.

COVID-19 was the leading cause of death for Black New Jerseyans in 2020. In Newark, which is nearly half Black, over 850 died from COVID between March 2020 and March 2021, exceeding the death tolls of five states during the same period.

Our new report, Repairing the Cracks: How New Jersey Can Restore Black & Brown Communities Ravaged by COVID-19 and Systemic Racism, explains that Black and Brown people have been hit so hard because the pandemic applied stress to the pre-existing cracks of structural racism in our foundation, causing them to erupt into earthquakes.

These cracks go back to our founding when slavery was incentivized, and were deepened by racist policies designed to perpetuate oppression when it comes to wealth, health, housing, mass incarceration, democracy, education and more.

Repairing the Cracks provides a comprehensive look at the pre-existing cracks of structural racism that have been exposed in the pandemic, the earthquakes that erupted in the face of it and what New Jersey needs to do right now to both repair the cracks and build a more solid foundation.

From prioritizing equitable vaccine distribution, to transforming our broken youth justice system, to expanding homeownership, to establishing a Reparations Task Force, to eliminating barriers to voting and more, New Jersey must address both the short-term needs of vulnerable residents and lay the foundation that not only won’t leave Black and other communities of color so vulnerable in the next crisis, but that will also allow them to thrive.

Please make sure to read our report and visit our Action Center for opportunities to help us repair the cracks.

Thank you, as always, for standing with us, and we hope to see you at our virtual Gala on November 9. Register here!


Laura Sullivan

Director of Economic Justice