[May 2020] Live at the Virtual Barbershop: Black Male Executives on COVID-19


May 22, 2020 from 2-3p.m. CT

Discussion Topic

During this webinar, the first in a series of "virtual barbershops," we will discuss inequities and COVID-19, particularly the virus' impact on African American men and communities of color. Afterward, we'll touch on the lighter topic of sports.

The first month of COVID-19 statistics, released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, reported that one in three people who became sick enough to require hospitalization were African American. This compared to the fact that African Americans make up 13% of the U.S. population. The lack of access to testing, higher chronic disease burden, and historical racial bias within health care institutions are all contributing to higher rates of sickness and death.

During this conversational webinar, several African American male executives will share their stories, experiences, and recommendations for increasing organizational capacity to reduce inequities in health outcomes.

About Virtual Barbershop

The barbershop is the one of few safe places where black men feel very comfortable in having candid conversations on just about anything. All over America, the barbershop continues to serve as a second home and place of refuge, healing, and compassion for black men.

This virtual space will feature several black male executives from around the country, sharing their perspectives and recommendations on how to increase the number of African American males in leadership positions at human services organizations. Just like in any barbershop, anyone is welcome to drop in at any time based on their availability and interest.

Why this Virtual Barbershop is Important

While many community-based human services organizations serve a significant number of people of color, especially African American males, this group remains underrepresented in our workforce. Addressing racial diversity continues to be an uphill challenge, particularly in the executive suite. According to a study from the Building Movement Project, black men have the necessary education, skills, and desire to hold executive positions, yet they are underrepresented in these roles. The causes of this underrepresentation are extremely complex, often a combination of an uneven playing field, implicit bias, emotional baggage, and toxic workplace culture.

If real change is to occur, men of color who hold director and executive roles must take the lead in teaching, advocating for, and promoting the strategies and benefits of advancing equity. It is critical to hear from those who are impacted the most, and the black male executives in this session are uniquely qualified to articulate the narrative and best practices.

What You'll Take Away

  • A better understanding of how COVID-19 has affected persons and communities of color more than other demographics
  • Frank discussion highlighting perspectives from African American male leaders in the sector on their understanding of the consequences and long-term effects of the current pandemic
  • Strategies and solutions for addressing the inequities and disparities within our systems
  • On a lighter note, how sports may change permanently given COVID-19

Who Should Join

  • Like the barbershop, all are welcome

Who'll Be at the Barbershop

  • Dr. Undraye P. Howard, The Barber, Senior Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and Engagement at the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities
  • Raphael Holloway, MA, CEO, Gateway Center in Atlanta, GA
  • Reyahd D.J. Kazmi, Esq., Director of Business and Government Strategies, National Youth Advocate Program in Columbus, OH
  • Jesse McLean, MA, Executive Director of Western Pennsylvania and Northeast Ohio, Pressley Ridge in Pittsburgh, PA
  • Julius Mullen Sr., PhD, Chief Clinical Officer, Children & Families First of Delaware
  • Claude A. Robinson Jr., Executive Vice President of External Affairs and Diversity, UCAN in Chicago, IL
  • Jonathan Palmer, MS, Executive Director, Hallie Q. Brown Community Center in St. Paul, MN
  • George Winn, MA, COO, The Children's Center in Detroit, MI

Questions about this webinar should be directed to Dr. Undraye P. Howard, The Barber, Senior Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and Engagement at the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities at uhoward@alliance1.org