Del. African American Task Force meets for the first time

DELAWARE – Delaware took a step forward Wednesday as the state’s African American Task Force met for the first time ever today.  The task force says their goal is to study and address issues that communities of color face. Wednesday’s meeting was mostly focused on introducing task force members and figuring out how sub committees will be organized.

There are four sub committees: economic opportunity, health and welfare, safety and justice, and infrastructure and improvement. Representative Melissa Minor-Brown is the co-chair of the health and welfare committee, and says that the work ahead of them will be difficult. “I’ve just been brain storming and taking notes every time something comes up. I just write them down, and we have to figure out how we can divide that down so we can achieve that no area is missed,” said Rep. Minor-Brown.

But Rep. Minor-brown says the ultimate task is to stay focused on the end goal. The task force and its committees will be analyzing how racial inequality impacts Delaware’s communities of color. With their findings, the task force will make recommendations to legislators about what can be done to fix these issues. “African Americans need to be seen as Americans. The black community needs to be seen as Delawareans as everybody else. Until we can be in that same category, we’re not going to get much done. But what I don’t want to see is – it’s not going to happen overnight,” said Rep. Minor-Brown.

The representative says that because health issues cover such a wide variety of topics, the first step will be to look at the history of inequities in health care for communities of color. From there, the sub committee can begin to look at how they can move forward and improve access and quality of health care. “This is like a serious public health crisis. So in addition to that we really need to look at the social determinants of public health that exist,” said Rep. Minor-Brown.

Rep. Minor-Brown says that having a wide variety of input and ideas from all kinds of community members will give legislators a better idea of how they can make a change. “They need to know and understand what we see and how we are impacted. Sometimes if you’re not living in it, you don’t understand it. But you need to be there from the organization to be able to see it from another point of view,” said Rep. Minor-Brown.

The task force has months of work ahead of them and a large number of topics to tackle. But the task force is ultimately working towards creating and submitting a report on their findings to Delaware’s legislators. The task force’s sub committees are also going to be allowed to submit smaller reports as they work towards their final result.

The sub committees will continue to meet over the coming months before they submit their report in January of next year. The task force says that members of the public are always welcome to offer their input and areas of expertise when it comes to racial inequality. For more information on the task force and its upcoming meetings, click here.

Categories: Delaware, Local News