Dr. Ronnie Dunn, interim chief diversity officer and associate professor of urban studies at Cleveland State University, has been appointed to the Ohio Minority Health Strike Force. The group has been created by the State of Ohio to assess the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on African Americans and other people of color and make recommendations on how to prevent further spread of the disease in these communities. In Ohio, African Americans make up 13 percent of the population, however 24.1 percent of COVID-19 patients in the state are African American.
“We must recognize that there are many Ohioans who have an increased risk of being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, and we must do everything we can to protect all Ohioans from this pandemic,” said Governor Mike DeWine in a statement announcing the Strike Force.
“The increased rate of infection in the African American community is a symptom of the broader disparities in health care access and other structural inequities faced by minorities locally and nationally,” Dunn added. “It is my hope this Strike Force can present comprehensive reforms which will serve as a model for addressing broader inequalities in our health care and socioeconomic systems.”
Ronnie Dunn has been on the faculty at CSU since 2004 and is a graduate of the University’s Ph.D. program in urban studies. He also serves on the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board and provided written testimony to President Barack Obama’s Taskforce on 21st Century Policing. His most recent book, Boycotts, Busing, & Beyond: The History & Implications of School Desegregation in the Urban North, was published by Kendall-Hunt Publishing in 2016.