Already Fighting One Public Health Crisis, Chicago’s Gun Violence Interrupters Take on Coronavirus
Bilaal Evans sees the importance of outreach workers’ new public health mission firsthand. He manages a small team for IMAN, a community-based organization that works primarily in Englewood, where he spends about four hours each day walking the streets.
Evans worries that some people in his community don’t understand why shoppers are stocking up on groceries and supplies. Others have told him they believe that black people are immune to the virus. He says it shocks and scares people when his team corrects them. Despite a near citywide lockdown, Evans has observed residents still attending parties, gatherings, and funerals.
“Unfortunately, because of the way African-American communities, and poor, disadvantaged communities have been misinformed about this [virus], it may get a little worse before it gets better,” Evans said.