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Unmasked: How the Virus Impacts the Black Community

  • About This Program

    Join us as we dissect the historical, structural, and social reasons Black communities are a vulnerable population during this pandemic.

    To date, a disproportionate number of African Americans have died from COVID-19, in comparison to other ethnicities. For this special Talk About It Tuesday, Glenn Burkins—Founder & Publisher of Q City Metro—will lead a virtual expert panel discussion about the underlying causes of this disparity and the resources required to improve the health outcomes within communities of color.

    We will stream the discussion live on the Harvey B. Gantt Center YouTube page. Audience members can chat in with relevant comments and questions throughout the evening, which the moderator and panelists will address as a unit.

    Viewing this program is free and open to the public. To chat during the program and engage in the conversation, please create a YouTube account with a Gmail email address prior to the program. Click here for a step-by-step tutorial on creating a YouTube account.

    Following the program, we will provide a resource list for deeper context and information around this topic.

  • About the Panelists

    Dr. Ricky A. Woods
    Senior Minister - First Baptist Church-West

    Dr. Ricky A. Woods has been Senior Minister of First Baptist Church-West since 1995 and during that time has worked tirelessly to not only serve as minister to the church's members, but also to help the church serve as a community beacon of social justice. His community and civic involvements include the Opportunity Task Force that examined factors impacting Charlotte citizens' upward mobility and the School Building Solutions Committee led by former NC Gov. James Martin.

    Dena R. Diorio
    County Manager - Mecklenburg County

    Dena joined Mecklenburg County in 2007 as director of the Department of Financial Services. In 2013, she was promoted to assistant county manager for fiscal control, policies and standards compliance where she provided executive management oversight of the County’s Financial Services Department (comprising Central Finance, Human Services Finance, and the Office of Tax Collector) as well as MECKLINK Finance and the Assessor’s Office. Dena earned her B.S. in social services from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

    Jerome Williams, Jr., MD, MBA
    Senior Vice President, Consumer Engagement - Novant Health

    Dr. Jerome Williams, Jr. is a practicing interventional cardiologist and senior vice president of Consumer Engagement and Corporate Health for Novant Health. Over the decades Dr. Williams has appreciated the opportunity to add value to a variety of divisions throughout Novant in his role as medical director of research, chairman and chief of cardiology, and member of the Heart and Vascular Institute system council. In addition to his strategic leadership role as SVP, Dr. Williams serves as a physician leader on the NH Health Equity Council, and the NH CEO Growth and Strategy Council.

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