Mandela Day 2021


COVID-19 & Systemic Racism:

Assessing the Impact of “The Twin Pandemics” on the US & South Africa


The COVID-19 pandemic has been touted as “the great equalizer.” However, it has become clear that the impact of the pandemic has been disproportionately felt by people of color globally. This impact extends beyond COVID-19 infection and mortality rates; the economic fallout of the pandemic has also had an outsized impact on black and brown communities, thrusting many further into poverty.

In this conversation, industry leaders and experts from the US and South Africa will come together to discuss the lessons that can be learned from the parallels and points of divergence between the experience of the compounded impact of the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism on their relative contexts.


State Senator Jason Lewis, Fifth Middlesex District of Massachusetts
Dr Michelle Morse, Chief Medical Officer of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Assoc Prof Gregory Petro, Head of Department, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, New Somerset Hospital
Tshegofatso Claudette Phala, Human rights lawyer
Jaimie Shaff, Chief Data Scientist, COVID-19 Response NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Alex Otieno, Assistant Professor, Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice, Arcadia University

vocalist & composer Naledi Masilo, recent graduate, New England Conservatory


Sign up for South Africa Partners' 2021 Mandela Day Panel here!