COVID-19 Safety Not Stigma: Tracy

This moment in time is similar to Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower. We are witnessing the expansion of the caste system of wellness in the US. We have to BE the community we need and support each other.


The US has been willfully slow collecting racial data on the coronavirus but what’s been uncovered keeps painting a bleak picture. Black people are 4 times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 and 3.5 times more likely to die from it than white people. Too many Americans are blaming Black people for dying from the virus (for having diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.) and failing to take into account the racism that made African Americans more vulnerable to infection in the first place. Meanwhile, a Louisiana police officer made headlines this week after posting on Facebook it was “unfortunate” all African Americans weren’t killed by the pandemic. He was fired. Apparently, it can’t be said enough: BIAS AND HATE WILL NOT BEAT COVID BUT COMING TOGETHER WILL. Discrimination is making the pandemic worse. You can help. Please share. Thank you.

i am in collective
i am helping fox to stay safe
May all beings be well and safe


Pictured: Tracy L. Stewart is an engaged Buddhist, mental health therapist, and co-director of Gathering Roots Retreat and Wellness Center. She believes that all BIPOC folx need safe spaces for wellness and witnessing. Gathering Roots, in partnership with Covid-19 Mutuail Aid Seattle has been making free masks for health, grocery, shelter and all kinds of workers and community. The collective has sewn and distributed hundreds of masks to the community since the beginning of the first US outbreak in King County, Washington.

COVID-19 Safety Not Stigma is a portrait campaign to help combat increased racism against people of color during the pandemic, raise awareness about the disproportionate impacts of coronavirus on communities of color, and prioritize safety instead of stigma by the public.

Safety notes: These photos were taken at safe distance outside using a 70-200mm telephoto zoom lens. I wore a mask and sanitized my equipment immediately following. Please remember the CDC recommends at least 6-ft or more of distance from those outside your family cluster.

This project is funded in part by 4Culture

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