Special to Iredell Free News
RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded grants to five local North Carolina organizations to help address the disparate impact COVID-19 is having among the state’s Hispanic and LatinX communities.
Association of Mexicans in North Carolina Inc. (AMEXCAN), El Centro Hispano, Latin American Coalition, Qué Pasa Media Network and True Ridge will each receive $100,000 to help support disease prevention measures in high-risk Hispanic/LatinX communities. The five organizations selected to partner with NCDHHS represent the eastern, central, western and major metropolitan areas of North Carolina.
Measures to be addressed include prevention practices such as wearing face coverings, social distancing and frequent hand-washing; access to COVID-19 testing; engagement with contact tracers; participation in quarantine and isolation measures; and coordination with NCDHHS messaging around these efforts.
“Hispanic/LatinX North Carolinians are strong and resilient, and we are investing in that strength. We are committed to working with the people on the ground who know their communities best,” said NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen.
In June 2020, North Carolina saw a sustained increase in its confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the general population, and a disproportionately high percentage of cases statewide are among historically marginalized populations. In particular, North Carolina’s Hispanic/LatinX communities are being hit hard by the virus, representing 44 percent of cases statewide (as of mid-June) where race and ethnicity are known.
Many people in Hispanic/LatinX communities provide essential services and work in industries North Carolina relies upon, such as construction, child care and food processing. Often, this work is in environments where social distancing can be challenging, health insurance is not provided and for a sick person, staying home could create a significant financial burden. These are all factors that may be contributing to the high rate of COVID-19 spread among Hispanic/LatinX communities.
The grants will be funded through the end of 2020 by the N.C. General Assembly’s Department of the Treasury.
About the Organizations
♦ Association of Mexicans in North Carolina (AMEXCAN) (Greenville) is an advocacy organization with offices throughout eastern North Carolina and a mission to encourage the active participation of Mexicans and other Hispanic/LatinX individuals in their destination and origin communities in promoting appreciation, understanding and prosperity of the community through their actions. More at http://amexcannc.org/blog.
♦ El Centro Hispano (Durham, Chapel Hill-Carrboro, Raleigh) is a Latino nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the community, building bridges and advocating for equity and inclusion for Hispanics/Latinos in the Triangle Area of North Carolina. More at https://elcentronc.org/about-us.
♦ Qué Pasa Media Network (Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro) is widely known as the link to and the voice of the Hispanic community in North Carolina through various media properties. More at https://www.quepasamedia.com.
♦ Latin American Coalition (Charlotte) envisions a diverse and vibrant North Carolina which embraces, supports and respects people of all cultures and backgrounds. More at https://latinamericancoalition.org/ourmission.
♦ True Ridge (Hendersonville) works to connect members of the LatinX community with the resources and opportunities to help them grow personally, professionally and spiritually. More at https://www.trueridge.org/about.