Published: Nov. 12, 2020

Three social scientists will discuss “Race, Inequality and COVID-19” next week during a webinar hosted by the University of Colorado Boulder.

The panel discussion will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 18, from noon to 1 p.m. It will be held remotely via Zoom. 

The panel, which is jointly sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and the Conference on World Affairs, will be moderated by David S. Brown, divisional dean of social sciences. 

The panelists are:

  • Arturo Aldama, associate professor and chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies
  • Jack Damico, professor and chair of the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences
  • Rachel Rinaldo, associate professor and associate chair of the Department of Sociology

About the presenters:

Aldama’s research focuses on U.S.-México border studies and immigration; and Chicanx popular culture, film, music, performativity, gender and indigeneity. His most recent work is on issues of race, criminalization and masculinity in the Latinx community. 

He will comment on how communities of color and Latinx communities in particular are hit harder by the COVID-19 pandemic and how white and male fragility contribute to the ongoing inequities in the COVID-19 era.

Damico, a clinical linguist and a speech-language pathologist, argues that while there is much concern about students from diverse backgrounds learning and performing well so that they can acquire the academic curriculum, one of the barriers to their success is the implicit curriculum (which is very stringent) of “how to do school.” 

For many students from racial, ethnic and impoverished backgrounds, the implicitness of how to do school presents a barrier to strong school and academic performance. Researchers have studied some of the institutional constraints and how the “hidden curriculum” directly and indirectly impacts these students and what can be done about it. 

Damico contends that these issues may be more problematic when mitigation and concerns about the pandemic are linked to how schools proceed during these times. 

Rinaldo's research focuses on gender, globalization, culture and religion. She has recently completed a qualitative study of the gendered consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Boulder-Denver area. 

Rinaldo will discuss her preliminary findings about the experiences of working mothers and the gendered division of labor in households, and she will talk about how these findings relate to recent studies showing large numbers of women dropping out of the workforce.