[Community Voices]

USA COVID-19 Deaths 10/19/2022: Source JHU

A vision for memorializing marginalized communities of the COVID-19 pandemic including essential workers and primary caregivers of children.


The COVID-19 Impact Project is a data driven, crowdsourced platform that seeks to memorialize victims of COVID-19 from marginalized communities and advocate for economic justice for

  • Essential workers particularly from the black, latino and indigenous communities that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
  • Children (disproportionately from black and brown communities) who lost a primary caregiver to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The raw data representing the devastation of COVID-19 does not capture the human toll and trauma of this disease, particularly for communities of color. This project seeks to track the appearance and evolving impact of the virus locally and internationally and correlate it with several data points including local and national government response and other socioeconomic factors that inform the impact of the virus on communities in the United States. The project will begin with a global overview and then hone in on a hyperlocal view of the emotional, psychological, and economic impact on essential workers and frontline workers and in particular communities of color which have borne the brunt of the devastation from COVID-19.

Open Sourced

The project invites collaboration from the software development community at large to build out and develop the application using vetted data sources from the global to the hyperlocal levels.


The project will call for submissions of photos and vignettes from family members of essential workers and other members of the black community to create a meaningful online memorial of those lost to COVID-19 – a pandemic that precluded traditional mourning and grieving. The project will make it easy for online submission of stories and remembrances of family members and those who made important contributions to their local communities. The project will feature an individual story each week and maintain an archive of personal stories and remembrances.

Racial and Economic Justice

Through data and local stories of those lost to COVID-19, we will seek to amplify the structural inequalities and the social, emotional and economic ripple effects which this pandemic has laid bare. We will use the stories and data to humanize the loss and fight for economic justice for essential workers including:

  • Retroactive hazard pay for essential workers still on the job
  • Living wage and healthcare and retirement benefits for essential workers
  • Compensation for families of essential worker COVID-19 victims who were heads of households
  • Fund for children (disproportionately children of color) who have lost a primary caregiver (parent or grandparent) due to COVID-19. This fund will be used to provide grief counseling and support; educational support; housing support and housing security

Let’s build something meaningful together