Amanda Taylor

"I can be welcomed into a grocery store with a bandana tied around my face. My white skin frees me from the worry that I may be mistaken for a criminal."
Mandy Taylor Mask

Amanda Taylor is Assistant VP, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion for American University

I consider myself one of the lucky ones.

Even though my partner and I are struggling with the impossible task of juggling home school for our two young boys and meeting demands of our academic jobs, we still have steady work and predictable paychecks. Our kids have dedicated APS teachers who have provided online schoolwork that we can help them understand.

Though our snug South Arlington duplex feels smaller by the minute, we have a roof over our heads, food in our stomachs and access to quality medical care.

As a scholar and practitioner of racial equity, I know that it is far more than luck that has made this my reality. The huge disparities between the impacts of COVID-19 in my life and in the lives of others are not accidents.

The fact that I have a stable job that allows me to telework and support my kids’ learning is tightly linked to my parents’ ability to send me to good schools.

That I can be welcomed into a local grocery store with a bandana tied around my face has everything to do with my white skin. It frees me from the worry that I may be mistaken for a criminal.

While none of my white friends or family have yet been touched by COVID-19, five of my colleagues, friends and neighbors of color lost loved ones just last week.

With every passing day, these patterns of privilege and disadvantage become even more apparent. And the policy choices and racist ideas that have created and sustain them continue to thrive.

It is past time to for us to redouble our efforts to collaboratively rewrite our future so that we can all move forward from this moment, together.


Readers: We want to hear your stories. Send your 300-word COVID-19 story and a photo to editorial@arlingtonmagazine.com.  You can read more Covid Chronicles essays at arlingtonmagazine.com/category/covid-chronicles/

Categories: Covid Chronicles
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