The special edition of the Phoenix Scholar™ focuses on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on everyone, especially minorities and people of color, and the ripple effects it has had on everything from access to healthcare and education to wealth distribution and professional practice.
The global pandemic has shaken the foundation of our country, and it has also forced us to revisit the many disparities and inequities that have held far too many people back for far too long. These facts were accentuated by Dr. Kimberly Underwood, Ph.D., Guest Editor of Phoenix Scholar™, a University of Phoenix research publication from the College of Doctoral Studies. As University Research Chair at the College of Doctoral Studies, Dr. Kimberly said, “This pandemic has disproportionately impacted women and people of color with furloughs and layoffs and exposed inequitable access to affordable healthcare, food insecurities, inequitable distributions of wealth, and lack of affordable housing.”
These are real issues, and they affect us all. University of Phoenix was founded on the belief that everyone should have access to the education, training and resources needed to succeed in the workplace. This is why all University of Phoenix courses are designed to be taken when the student is ready to enroll. Flexible scheduling, online and offline formats, seamless access to instructors and academic counselors and lifelong access to the University’s vast academic, professional, training and resource networks help aspiring learners and experienced professionals pursue their career and personal goals.
The study valiantly attempts, and succeeds, in covering many of the important issues facing us today. It explores social justice protests and the roles of diversity, equity and inclusion in determining health and economic outcomes. The psychological implications of racial aggression, cultivating a sense of belonging, providing mental health services to disadvantaged populations, and improving access to resources and opportunities at every level of society are also reviewed. The study highlights the vast and growing gap between groups, the role of the pandemic in widening the gap, and perhaps most importantly, what we all can do to address the issue.
Although millions around the world have lost their lives, tens of millions have lost their jobs, and countless more have suffered from the ripple effects of the pandemic, there is hope. We are now acutely aware, thanks to events in our own lifetimes, of the harsh reality faced by so many of our fellow Americans when it comes to food, housing, digital connectivity, and healthcare access as well as fair and equitable access to social, educational, economic and political opportunities. Women, minorities and people of color have had to disproportionately bear the brunt of the losses associated with the pandemic. But long-standing structural and systemic inequities made those losses larger than they should have been. The Diversity and Inclusion study drives this point painfully home.
Still, there is hope. The discourse on race, justice, inclusion and equity has been rekindled. The nation’s attention has shifted considerably to issues of social justice and police reform. People are doing what needs to be done to change policies and perceptions with regards to race, and notable leaders in corporations and organizations of all sizes are following suit. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell publicly apologized to players for dismissing racism concerns and stated that the NFL now understands the concept behind “taking a knee.” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had “Black Lives Matter” posted on Amazon’s business webpage. The display of the Confederate flag at NASCAR events was banned, Adidas committed to hiring more people of color, General Motors created an Inclusion Advisory Board and millions of dollars have been allocated to address the racial divide in businesses, academic institutions and public education. Some government leaders even agreed to work on police reform. There is a lot of work to be done, but this promising list of action shows we might be on the right track.
For more insight into these issues of interest, read the Diversity and Inclusion Issue of Phoenix Scholar™ here. To learn more about doctoral programs at University of Phoenix, visit the College of Doctoral Studies. To learn about research and learning opportunities at University of Phoenix and how our programs can set you up for career and personal success, visit us at https://www.phoenix.edu.
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