I wanted to create a piece that centered on the exacerbated inequities faced by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) amid COVID-19. Maybe some of us have heard a thing or two on the news about racial inequality as a dimension of the pandemic... but how often do we hear about the change necessary to offset problems that adversely affect Black, Brown, Latinx, Indigenous people? I wanted to sing stories to transform people’s understanding of this dismaying reality as the greatest problem brought on by the pandemic, rather than an adverse effect or collateral.
Considering the inherent ties between privilege and resilience to environmental shocks, my biggest challenge in this project was grappling with my own privilege: I am a multiethnic person of color and my communities are among those most affected by these inequities, yet I have the privileges of lighter skin and the resources and experience of my Columbia education, among others. I had to think about how to communicate my investment in these issues, without centering the problems around myself and my own experiences as an individual.