As the world nears the cycle of one full year under the paradigm of the Coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19, many are still in need. KEVA, Inc. has presented a comprehensive COVID-19 Disparity Study to Mayor John Cooper, in order to assist the underserved population in a ‘one stop shop’ for all of their necessary concerns.
“We need monies in order to help these people in the north Nashville area. All funding is handed to other organizations and we need enough money to help the people who can’t navigate the Internet or get across town to get assistance,” said Rev. Venita Lewis, founder of KEVA, Inc. who is on a mission to ensure that all people of color have a fair and equal opportunity to the assistance that is given to other people in other communities. Fair distribution of funding is not always likely in certain areas of Nashville and she is determined to make that happen during this vital time.
The presentation to the mayor identified potential disparities in the African American community, as it relates to COVID-19 relief, education, and assistance and the serious gap in educating the African American community of the availability and need to take the COVID-19 vaccine. The presentation also states the following:
“Black communities make up only a relatively small portion of the population, nearly half, if not the majority, of all COVID-19 deaths are members of the Black community. This is largely due to environmental, economic, and political factors that have compounded for generations, putting Black people at higher risk of chronic conditions that leave lungs weak and immune systems compromised with ailments such as asthma, heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes. Redlining and environmental racism, for example, have consigned Black neighborhoods to breathing some of America’s dirtiest air, drinking contaminated water, and living below the poverty level.
“It was also noted that Black people account for 25% of those who have tested positive and 39% of the COVID-19 related deaths, while making up just 15% of the general population.
“COVID-19 is having a clearly disparate impact on the Black community, and we have a clear need for data to be dis-aggregated by race and ethnicity, in addition to resources focused on our most vulnerable communities.
“Tennessee health officials report that 33.5% of COVID-19 related deaths statewide are among African Americans. That is twice the percentage of Black residents as a portion of the total state population.”
While charts and other related studies were sited, KEVA’s organization is looking to work with a variety of organizations, churches and others to create a hub that will take care of all the needs in relation to COVID-19 to assistance the elderly and others in this underserved population. The location presented as ‘Covid-19 Central’ will be located at 2420 Batavia Street.
COVID-19 Central shall be fully equipped to provide to this community a ‘one stop shop’ of services to provide funding assistance to support rent, mortgage, and utilities; provide information and counseling assistance on the importance of receiving the vaccination for COVID-19; professional staff available to administer the COVID-19 vaccination and all other related resources.
This proposal was presented to the Mayor’s Office in mid-February and looks forward to action in the very near future as this is an increasingly needed entity for the north Nashville neighborhood.
“We have already talked to several pastors as well as the mayor and others as we are moving forward with this project,” said Lewis.
For questions or to offer assistance in this endeavor, contact Venita Lewis at Keva, Inc., 615-237-1110.