Statement from Dr. Bernice A. King

April 4, 2020 (Atlanta, GA) – Today, it is more apparent than ever before that, as my father stated, “We are tied in a single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” COVID-19 is devastating our World House, sickening and killing beloved family members, friends and neighbors, including healthcare workers, first responders, frontline workers (those providing essential services), artists and members of our communities who are homeless and displaced. It is also affecting our employment, incomes and mental health. Further, the virus is proving to be particularly harmful to vulnerable and marginalized groups. When I agreed to co-chair Governor Brian Kemp’s Coronavirus Task Force Community Outreach Committee, I did so with humanity in mind. This is not a political assignment for me, but a way that I believe I can contribute to caring for the people of Georgia during this extremely difficult time.

The Coronavirus Task Force Community Outreach Committee is a statewide group of partners and leaders representing the nonprofit, technology, medical, foundation, business, faith-based, and education sectors, as well as from other areas of influence. We will meet this week to further outline the details, but our charge is to enhance COVID-19 community engagement, empowerment and mobilization in cooperation with Governor Brian Kemp and the COVID-19 Task Force agency heads. We will provide direction on overcoming this pandemic together by listening to the community, while also advising the Governor on responding to needs across the state of Georgia.

In addition to advising the Governor, my role as Co-Chair will be to work with Leo Smith to maximize input from the Committee and responsiveness to the communities across the state of Georgia. We will not only be an information source, but we will also help mobilize the resourcefulness of our committee members’ businesses and organizations, to look for gaps in needs; edify good corporate and private citizen efforts; and support the resilience of Georgians to withstand the socio-economic issues that the pandemic is exacerbating.

When we work together, with commitment to engaging each other in loving, just, humane ways, the state of Georgia has life-saving and nation-leading capability. I will continue in this endeavor as long we are making progress in honoring this commitment.

After the Committee meets and we solidify our strategy, we will provide more information.