Cardboard sign reading "what lessens one of us lessens all of us."

COVID-19 and racism

biology, raceJoanne Jones-Rizzi, Vice President of Science, Equity, and EducationMar 19, 2020

Hi, I’m Joanne Jones-Rizzi and I’m the Vice President of Science, Equity, and Education at the Science Museum of Minnesota.

The museum is committed to using STEM as a tool to advocate for justice and equity. We want to support museum visitors, staff, educators, donors, and other collaborating partners to understand systems of oppression that impact all of us.

I chose this video because it illustrates the damaging impact of xenophobia and racism on individuals and our society. It shows the history of these systems in our country in the presence of other pandemics. The students featured in this video are Asian American and are being bullied and taunted because of their identities.

NY Times - Coronavirus Racism Infected My High School

After you’ve watched the video, please take a few minutes to reflect on the following questions:

  1. What would you do if you witnessed someone you know being bullied because of their identity?

  2. How would you feel if this happened to you?

  3. Do you see the interconnectedness between science, education, and equity in the video?

  4. How can science help us to understand the COVID-19 virus?

  5. What lessons have we learned from previous pandemics and the responses and actions of others as seen on the video?