Systemic racism and Covid-19 — our commitment to help

Cheekies Team

In honor of MLK's legacy on #MLKDay2021, we want to acknowledge how far we've come since the Civil Rights and Jim Crow eras of his lifetime, but also acknowledge systemic racism still exists today, how it's relevant to the current pandemic, and what we're doing to help.

According to the latest data from the CDC: in comparison to White Americans, African Americans are 1.4X more likely to be diagnosed, 3.7X more likely to be hospitalized, and 2.8X more likely to die as a result of Covid-19.

Similar inequalities can be seen across other communities of color.

Race is a concept defined by society, not by genes—and this staggering data reveals how our society is failing our communities of color.

For example, the disparity in cases could be tied to greater exposure and therefore chances of contracting the virus, as Black and Latinx communities are less likely to have a job that allows them to work from home. Rather than sitting on Zoom calls from their home office, they may be working in essential sectors of the economy, such as retail and service, increasing their contact with others and ultimately their risk of exposure to Covid-19.

Once diagnosed, people of color fare worse than their white counterparts. Amongst health researchers, this disparity in health outcomes by race and ethnicity are attributed to social determinants of health (SDOH).  The CDC defines SDOH as "conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play that affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes."  Examples include access to healthcare, education quality, economic stability, and housing resources.

While we're a small and newly formed business, we acknowledge these disparities and our role to potentially make a difference.

That's why today, as we celebrate and remember the life of MLK, we're announcing our support for two organizations that are doing impactful work for social justice and inequality.

The first organization is the San Francisco Community Health Center, our local community health clinic whose mission is to "transform lives by advancing health, wellness, and equality." The SF Community Health Center has a storied 30-year history, dating back to the AIDS epidemic, and continues to provide critical health services to disadvantaged communities during the pandemic today. We're starting with a donation of over 150+ Cheekies masks, to help protect their staff members, patients, and their families.

Second, as part of our launch in 2020, we committed to donating 10% of our proceeds from every mask sold to the ACLU Foundation through the end of the year. Together, with your support, we were able to follow through on that commitment, and we're excited to share we'll be continuing this commitment—indefinitely and throughout the lifetime of Cheekies.

We couldn't do this without your support. Thank you for helping to make a difference.

Learn more about San Francisco Community Health Center:

Learn more about ACLU: