Join the voice for a changing South.

After wrecking the Gulf, Big Oil is worsening the COVID-19 crisis

April 24, 2020 - A decade after the BP oil spill set off an environmental health disaster in communities across the Gulf Coast, the company and the rest of the U.S. oil and gas industry continue to inflict pain on vulnerable populations across the South — and they're now implicated in raising the death rate from the novel coronavirus in African-American communities across Louisiana.

INSTITUTE INDEX: Southern states refuse to release prisoners amid the pandemic

April 20, 2020 - With the COVID-19 pandemic raging through correctional facilities, many states have ordered the release of nonviolent offenders in local jails or prison inmates at greater risk from the virus. But states in the Deep South have been slow to act. Meanwhile, Louisiana is moving its COVID-19-stricken prisoners to the notorious Angola penitentiary — an hour's drive from a hospital with a ventilator.

Who takes care of the farmworkers' children?

April 20, 2020 - The migrant and seasonal farmworkers who help feed the U.S. are considered "essential" employees amid the coronavirus pandemic and must show up to work to earn enough money to survive. As schools move online and government child development programs close temporarily, they're left scrambling to figure out what to do with their children.

COVID-19 and the unfunded Black Belt commission

April 10, 2020 - The Southeast Crescent Regional Commission was created in 2008 to provide economic development assistance to Black Belt states but has never received its full appropriation from Congress — even while its counterpart covering whiter, richer Northern states has. With Black Belt communities being ravaged by the pandemic, it's past time for action.

INSTITUTE INDEX: Taking the census in a pandemic

April 9, 2020 - The decennial U.S. population count is underway and will be used for everything from drawing new congressional districts to deciding where to allocate federal resources — including any potential coronavirus vaccine. But the pandemic is complicating the process and raising concerns about potential undercounts, which would inflict more pain on suffering communities.