Reggie Jackson Hopes the Coronavirus Will Call Attention to Milwaukee’s Longstanding Health Care Disparities

“I’m hoping that they’re listening carefully to the things that are being said and begin — as we move forward — to fight to change the system, to make the system more equitable.”

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Reggie Jackson, co-founder of Nurturing Diversity Partners and head griot of America’s Black Holocaust Museum, joined Milwaukee Magazine Editor and Publisher Carole Nicksin for a livestream lunch Wednesday.

Jackson talked about the work he does with Nurturing Diversity Partners and how Milwaukee’s black community is disproportionately affected by the coronavirus.

Nurturing Diversity Partners is a consulting organization that fosters diversity and equity.

“We try to engage people in conversations and educate people about issues related to race and racism,” Jackson said. “We feel gratified that we’ve been able to reach such a wide audience.”

He talked about the importance of connecting communities in Milwaukee, which is the most segregated metropolitan area in the country.

“We really want people to get outside of their bubble and explore the worlds that other people live in,” Jackson said.

Jackson also talked about the health care disparities Milwaukee’s black community faces and how they have been highlighted by the coronavirus.

“We’ve seen a significant disparity in terms of the percentage of people within Milwaukee county who have coronavirus and the percentage of people who have died from coronavirus,” Jackson said. “It’s weighted heavily against black people in our community.”

He said he hopes the coronavirus will call attention to Milwaukee’s longstanding health care disparities. 

“Many people who are in the upper echelons of our health care system are white people who don’t necessarily live in our community, don’t understand these issues from our perspective,” Jackson said. “I’m hoping that they’re listening carefully to the things that are being said and begin — as we move forward — to fight to change the system, to make the system more equitable.”

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