COVID and Education: Black Students' Distance Learning and College Transitions

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New America CA is committed to ensuring that the perspectives of the Golden State’s Black communities are represented and engaged in finding innovative solutions to pressing public problems. A global pandemic is quite the “pressing problem” and its repercussions will not exclude even those who live amidst the world’s fifth largest economy.

While it’s true that the COVID-19 outbreak impacts all Americans, it has, quite simply, impacted Black America differently. The coronavirus has deepened disparity. Longstanding systemic barriers and racism have intergenerational impacts and have set the stage on which the current situation is played out — we cannot respond to the crisis without facing those barriers explicitly and as a community.

Join New America CA for “COVID and the Black Community,” a biweekly online conversation series, inspired by our New America colleagues in Indianapolis and featuring local and national experts and resources. The second installment will be on April 30th from 2:30-4:00 PM Pacific: “COVID and Education: Black Students’ Distance Learning and College Transitions.”

The COVID crisis has pushed learning from schools to homes. This has created new disparities for Black students, from digital divides that make online learning difficult or impossible, to parents and guardians who are essential workers and cannot provide the instruction time students would receive in the classroom. The pandemic has also disrupted the transition from high school to postsecondary education and from college to work for countless students. Even before COVID-19 many Black students faced systemic barriers to quality education and securing a family-sustaining income. During the livestream we’ll explore what education thought leaders see as promising practices and solutions in this new paradigm.

Registration is free and open to all.


Dr. Elisha Smith Arrillaga, @ESArrillaga
Executive Director, The Education Trust–West

Alexandra Bernadotte, @abernadotte
Founder & CEO, Beyond 12

Brittany Packnett Cunningham, @MsPackyetti
Activist, Educator, MSNBC Contributor, & Cohost – Pod Save the People

Ron C. Smith, @SalesforceOrg
Senior Director – Education Initiatives,


Autumn McDonald, @Autumn_McDo
Senior Fellow & Head of New America CA


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